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979.4 

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11427 


GENEALOGY   COLLECTION 


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3  1833  01148  2798 


HISTORY 


STATE    OF    CALIFORNIA 


BIOGRAPHICAL    RECORD 


SANTA    CRUZ,    SAN     BENITO,    MONTEREY    AND     SAN- 
LUIS    OBISPO    COUNTIES 


An    Historical    Story    of    the    State's    Marvelous    Growth    from   its 
Earliest   Settlement   to  the    Present  Time 

BY 

PROF.   J.    M.   GUINN,  A.  M., 

Author   of   A    History    of   Los   Angeles   and   Vicinity,   History   of  Southern    California,    Secretary    and 
Curator  of  the  Historical  Society  of  Southern  California,  Member  of  the  Amer- 
ican Historical  Association,  Washington,  D.  C. 


Containing;  Biographies  of  Well-known  Citizens  of 
the  Past  and  Present 


THE    CHAPMAN    PUBLISHING   CO. 

CHICAGO 
1003 


Copyright,  1902, 


CHAPMAN    PUBLISHING    CO. 


1142742 

PREFACE 


HISTORICAL 

THERE  are  very  few  states  in  the  Union  that  have  a  more  varied  and  a  more  interesting  his- 
tory than  California ;   and  there  are  few  if  any  whose  history  is  so  vaguely  and  so  indefinitely 
known.    This  is  largely  due  to  the  fact  that  its  colonization  was  effected  by  one  race  and  its 
evolution  as  a  state  by  another. 

In  the  rapid  development  of  the  state  by  the  conquering  race,  the  trials  and  struggles  of  the  first 
colonists  have  been  forgotten.  No  forefathers'  day  keeps  their  memory  green,  and  no  observance 
celebrates  the  anniversary  of  their  landing.  To  many  of  its  people,  the  history  of  California  begins 
with  the  discovery  of  gold,  and  all  behind  that  is  regarded  of  little  importance.  The  race  character- 
istics of  the  two  peoples  who  have  dominated  California  differ  widely ;  and  from  this  divergence 
arises  the  lack  of  sympathetic  unison.  Perhaps  no  better  expression  for  this  difference  can  be  given 
than  is  found  in  popular  bywords  of  each.  The  'Toco  tiempo"  (by  and  by)  of  the  Spaniard  is  sig- 
nificant of  a  people  who  are  willing  to  wait-who  would  rather  defer  till  man  a  n*-tomorrow- 
than  hurry  to-day.  The  "go  ahead"  of  the  American  is  indicative  of  haste,  of  rush,  of  a  strenuous 
struggle  to  overcome  obstacles,   whatever  they  may  be,  in  the  present. 

In  narrating  the  story  of  California,  I  have  endeavored  to  deal  justly  with  the  different  eras  and 
episodes  of  its  history;  to  state  facts ;  to  tell  the  truth  without  favoritism  or  prejudice;  to  g.ve 
credit  where  credit  is  due  and  blame  where  it  is  deserved.  In  the  preparation  of  this  history  I  have 
tried  to  make  it  readable.     I  have  avoided  dull  details  and  have  omitted  cumbrous  statistics. 

The  subject  has  been  presented  by  topic,  observing  so  far  as  possible  the  chronological  order  of 
the  events  In  collecting  material  for  this  work,  I  have  visited  all  the  large  libraries  of  the  state,  have 
consulted  state  and  county  archives,  and  have  scanned  thousands  of  pages  of  newspapers  and  maga- 
zines Where  extracts  have  been  made,  due  credit  has  been  given  in  the  body  of  the  work.  I  have 
received  valuable  assistance  from  librarians,  from  pioneers  of  the  state,  from  editors, and  others.  To 
all  who  have  assisted  me,  I  return  my  sincere  thanks.  J-       ■ 

Los  Angeles,  January  i,  1903. 


II 


PREFACE 


BIOGRAPHICAL 

THE  high  standing  of  these  counties  is  due  not  alone  to  ideal  climate  and  rare  beauty  of 
scenery.  Other  regions  boasting  an  environment  as  attractive,  have  nevertheless  re- 
mained unknown  to  the  great  world  of  commerce  and  of  thought.  When  we  study  the 
progress  made  in  this  section  of  our  country,  especially  during  the  past  two  decades  of  the  nine- 
teenth century  and  the  opening  years  of  the  twentieth  century,  we  are  led  to  the  conclusion  that 
the  present  gratifying  condition  is  due  to  the  enterprise  of  public-spirited  citizens.  They  have 
not  only  developed  commercial  possibilities  and  horticultural  resources,  but  they  have  also  main- 
tained a  commendable  interest  in  public  affairs,  and  have  given  to  their  commonwealth  some  of 
its  ablest  statesmen.  The  prosperity  of  the  past  has  been  gratifying;  and,  with  the  building  of 
the  canal  to  connect  the  Atlantic  and  the  Pacific,  with  the  increasing  of  railroad  facilities,  with  the 
further  development  of  local  resources,  there  is  every  reason  to  believe  that  the  twentieth  century 
will  witness  the  most  marvelous  growth  this  region  has  ever  made. 

In  the  compilation  of  this  work  and  the  securing  of  necessary  data,  a  number  of  writers  have 
been  engaged  for  months.  They  have  visited  leading  citizens  and  used  every  endeavor  to  produce 
a  work  accurate  and  trustworthy  in  every  detail.  (  hving  to  the  great  care  exercised,  and  to  the 
fact  that  every  opportunity  was  given  to  those  represented  to  secure  accuracy  in  their  biographies, 
the  publishers  believe  they  are  giving  to  their  readers  a  volume  containing  few  errors  of  conse- 
quence. The  biographies  of  a  number  of  representative  citizens  will  be  missed  from  the  work. 
In  some  instances  this  was  caused  by  their  absence  from  home  when  our  writers  called,  and  in 
some  instances  was  caused  by  a  failure  on  the  part  of  the  men  themselves  to  understand  the 
scope  of  the  work.  The  publishers,  however,  have  done  all  within  their  power  to  make  this 
work   a   representative   one. 

The  value  of  the  data  herein  presented  will  grow  with  the  passing  years.  Posterity  will  pre- 
serve the  volume  with  care,  from  the  fact  that  it  perpetuates  biographical  history  that  otherwise 
would  be  wholly  lost.  In  those  now  far-distant  days  will  be  realized,  to  a  greater  extent  than  at 
the  present  time,  the  truth  of  Macaulay's  statement.  "The  history  oi  a  country  is  best  told  in  the 
lives  of  its  people."  CHAPMAN    PUBLISHING   COMPANY. 

Chicago. 


CONTENTS. 


CHAPTER  I. 

PAGE 

Spanish  Explorations  and  Discoveries 33 

Romance  and  Reality — The  Seven  Cities  of  Cibola — The  Myth  of  Quivera — El  Dorado — 
Sandoval's  Isle  of  the  Amazons — Mutineers  Discover  the  Peninsula  of  Lower  California 
— Origin  of  the  Name  California — Cortes's  Attempts  at  Colonization — Discovery  of  the 
Rio  Colorado — Coronado's  Explorations — Ulloa's  Voyage. 

,-t    Jt    ,* 

CHAPTER  II. 
Alta  or  Nueva  California 37 

Voyage  of  Juan  Rodriguez  Cabrillo — Enters  the  Bay  of  San  Diego  in  Alta  California- 
Discovers  the  Islands  of  San  Salvador  and  Vitoria — The  Bay  of  Smokes  and  Fires — The 
Santa  Barbara  Islands — Reaches  Cape  Mendocino — His  Death  and  Burial  on  the  Island  of 
San  Miguel — Ferrolo  Continues  the  Voyage — Drake,  the  Sea  King  of  Devon — His  Hatred 
of  the  Spaniard — Sails  into  the  South  Sea — Plunders  the  Spanish  Settlements  of  the  South 
Pacific — Vain  Search  for  the  Straits  of  Anian — Refits  His  Ships  in  a  California  Harbor — 
Takes  Possession  of  the  Country  for  the  English  Queen — Sails  Across  the  Pacific  Ocean 
to  Escape  the  Vengeance  of  the  Spaniards — Sebastian  Rodriguez  Cermeni  i  Attempts  a 
Survey  of  the  California  Coast — Loss  of  the  San  Agustin — Sufferings  of  the  Shipwrecked 
Mariners — Sebastian  Viscaino's  Explorations — Makes  No  New  Discoveries — Changes  the 
Names  Given  by  Cabrillo  to  the  Bays  and  Islands — Some  Boom  Literature — Failure  of 
His  Colonization  Scheme — His  Death. 

Jt    .Jt    ,* 

CHAPTER  III. 
Colonization  of  Alta  California 43 


Jesuit  Missions  of  Lower  California — Father  Kino  or  Kuhn's  Explorations — Expulsion  of 
the  Jesuits — Spain's  Decadence — Her  Northwestern  Possessions  Threatened  by  the  Rus- 
sians and  English — The  Franciscans  to  Christianize  and  Colonize  Alta  California — Galvez 
Fits  Out  Two  Expeditions— Their  Safe  Arrival  at  San  Diego— First  Mission  Founded— 
Portola's  Explorations— Fails  to  Find  Monterey  Bay— Discovers  the  Bay  of  San  Fran- 
cisco— Return  of  the  Explorers — Portola's  Second  Expedition — Founding  of  San  Carlos 
Mission  and  the  Presidio  of  Monterey. 

•J*    £    Jt 

CHAPTER  IV. 


Aborigines  of  California. 


Inferiority  of  the  California  Indian— No  Great  Tribes— Indians  of  the  San  Gabriel  Valley- 
Hugo  Reid's  Description  of  Their  Government— Religion  and  Customs— Indians  of  the 
Santa  Barbara  Channel— Their  God  Chupu— Northern  Indians— Indian  Myths  and  Tra- 
ditions. 


20  CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER  V. 

PAGE 

Franciscan  Missions  of  Alta  California 56 

Founding  of  San  Diego  de  Alcala — San  Carlos  Barromeo — San  Antonio  de  Padua — San 
Gabriel  Arcangel — San  Luis  Obispo — San  Francisco  de  Asis — San  Juan  Capistrano — Santa 
Clara — San  Buenaventura — Santa  Barbara — La  Purisima  Concepcion — Santa  Cruz — La 
Soledad — San  Jose — San  Juan  Bautista — San  Miguel — San  Fernando  del  Rey,  San  Luis 
Rey,  Santa  Ynez — San  Rafael — San  Francisco  Solano — Architecture — General  Plan  of  the 
Missionary  Establishments — Houses  of  the  Neophytes — Their  Uncleanliness. 

J*    J*    jt 

CHAPTER  VI. 
Presidios  of  California 66 

Presidio  in  Colonization— Founding  of  San  Diego— General  Plan  of  the  Presidio— Found- 
ing of  Monterey— Rejoicing  over  the  Event— Hard  Times  at  the  Presidio— Bear  Meat  Diet 
— Two  Hundred  Immigrants  for  the  Presidio — Founding  of  the  Presidio  of  San  Francisco 

— Anza's  Overland  Route  from  Sonora — Quarrel  with  Rivera — Anza's  Return  to  Sonora 

Founding  of  Santa  Barbara— Disappointment  of  Father  Serra— Quarrel  of  the  Captain  with 
the  Missionaries  over  Indian  Laborers — Soldiers'  Dreary  Life  at  the  Presidios. 

Jt    ^t    <£ 

CHAPTER  VII. 


Pueblos 


Pueblo  Plan  of  Colonization— Necessity  for  Agricultural  Colonies— Governor  Filipe  de 
Neve  Selects  Pueblo  Sites— San  Jose  Founded— Named  for  the  Patron  Saint  of  California 
—Area  of  the  Spanish  Pueblo— Government  Supplies  to  Colonists— Founding  of  the 
Pueblo  of  Los  Angeles— Names  of  the  Founders— Probable  Origin  of  the  Name— Sub- 
divisions of  Pueblo  Lands— Lands  Assigned  to  Colonists— Founding  of  Branciforte,  the 
last  Spanish  Pueblo. 


CHAPTER  VIII. 
The  Passing  of  Spain's  Domination 


rlusiveness— The   First    Foreign    Ship   in    Monterey    Bay— Vancouver's   Visit— 
Government  Monopoly  of  the  Fur  Trade— American  Smugglers— The  Memorias— Russian 
Aggression— Famine  at  Sitka— Rezanoff's  Visit— A  Love  Affair  and  Its  Tragic   Ending— 
'  Failure  of  the  Russian  Colony  Scheme— The  War  of  Mexican  Independence- 

Governor— California   Loyalists— The  Year   of  Earthquakes— Bouchard 
ns    Monterey— The    Lima  Tallow   Ships— Hard   Times— No   Money  and 
I  Ik-  Friars  Supreme. 


CHAPTER  IX. 



78 


Him  if  the  Revolutionists— Plan  of  Iguala— 

ntces      Hi,     I  mpire-    Downfall    of   Agustin   I.— Rise   of   the    Republic— 
101    Sola    ...1,1     the     Friars— Disloyalty     of   the   Mission 
giance— Arguella,  Governor— Advent  of  Foreign- 
ers—Coming of  the   Hide  Droghers— Indian  Outbreak. 


82 


CONTENTS.  21 

CHAPTER  X. 

PAGE 

First  Decade  of  Mexican  Rule g^ 

Echeandia  Governor— Make  San  Diego  His  Capital— Padres  of  the  Four  Southern  Mis- 
sions Take  the  Oath  of  Allegiance  to  the  Republic— Friars  of  the  Northern  Missions 
Contumacious— Arrest  of  Padre  Sarria— Fxpulsion  of  the  Spaniards— Clandestine  De- 
parture of  Padres  Ripoll  and  Altimira— Exile  of  Padre  Martinez— The  Diputacion— 
Queer  Legislation— The  Mexican  Congress  Attempts  to  Make  California  a  Penal  Colony- 
Liberal  Colonization  Laws— Captain  Jedediah  S.  Smith,  the  Pioneer  of  Overland  Travel, 
Arrives— Is  Arrested— First  White  Man  to  Cross  the  Sierra  Nevadas— Coming  of  the 
Fur  Trappers— The  Pattie  Party— Imprisoned  by  Echeandia— Death  of  the  Elder  Pattie— 
John  Ohio  Pattie's  Bluster— Peg  Leg  Smith — Ewing  Young— The  Solis  Revolution— A 
Bloodless  Battle — Echeandia's  Mission  Secularization  Decree— He  Is  Hated  by  the  Friars 
— Dios  y  Libertad — The   Fitch   Romance. 


CHAPTER   XI. 
Revolutions — The  Hijar  Colonists 93 

Victoria,  Governor — His  Unpopularity — Defeated  by  the  Southern  Revolutionists — Abdi- 
cates and  is  Shipped  out  of  the  Country — Pio  Pico.  Governor — Echeandia,  Governor  of 
Abajenos  (Lowers) — Zamarano  of  the  Arribanos  (Uppers) — Dual  Governors  and  a  No 
Man's  Land — War  Clouds — Los  Angeles  the  Political  Storm  Center — Figueroa  Appointed 
Gefe  Politico — The  Dual  Governors  Surrender — Figueroa  the  Right  Man  in  the  Place — 
Hijar's  Colonization  Scheme — Padres,  the  Promoter — Hijar  to  be  Gefe  Politico — A  Fa- 
mous Ride — A  Cobbler  Heads  a  Revolution — Hijar  and  Padres  Arrested  and  Deported — 
Disastrous   End   of  the   Compania   Cosmopolitana — Death  of  Figueroa. 


CHAPTER  XII. 
The  Decline  and  Fall  of  the  Missions 96 

Sentiment  vs.  History — The  Friars'  Right  to  the  Mission  Lands  Only  That  of  Occupa- 
tion— Governor  .Borica's  Opinion  of  the  Mission  System — Title  to  the  Mission  Domains — 
Viceroy  Bucarili's  Instructions — Secularization — Decree  of  the  Spanish  Cortes  in  1813 — 
Mission  Land  Monopoly — No  Land  for  Settlers — Secularization  Plans,  Decrees  and  Regla- 
mentos — No  Attempt  to  Educate  the  Neophytes — Destruction  of  Mission  Property, 
Ruthless  Slaughter  of  Cattle — Emancipation  in  Theory  and  in  Practice — Depravity  of  the 
Neophytes — What  Did  Six  Decades  of  Mission  Rule  Accomplish? — What  Became  of  the 
Mission  Estates — The  Passing  of  the  Neophytes. 


CHAPTER  XIII. 
The  Free  and  Sovereign  State  of  Alta  California  . 


Castro,  Gefe  Politico— Nicolas  Gutierrez.  Comandante  and  Political  Chief— Chico.  "Gober- 
nador  Propritario" — Makes  Himself  Unpopular — His  Hatred  of  Foreigners — Makes 
Trouble  Wherever  He  Goes— Shipped  Back  to  Mexico— Gutierrez  Again  Political  Chief- 
Centralism  His  Nemesis— Revolt  of  Castro  and  Alvarado— Gutierrez  Besieged— Surrenders 
and  Leaves  the  Country— Declaration  of  California's  Independence— El  Estado  Libre  y 
Soberano    de    La    Alta    California— Alvarado     Declared     Governor— The    Ship    of    State 


CONTENTS. 


Launched— Encounters  a  Storm— The  South  Opposes  California's  Independence— Los  An- 
geles  Made  a  City  and  the  Capital  of  the  Territory  by  the  Mexican  Congress— The  Capital 
Question  the  Cause  of  Opposition — War  Between  the  North  and  South — Battle  of  San 
Buenaventura — Los  Angeles  Captured — Peace  in  the  Free  State — Carlos  Carrillo,  Gov- 
ernor of  the  South — War  Again — Defeat  of  Carrillo  at  Las  Flores — Peace — Alvarado 
Appointed  Governor  by  the  Supreme  Government— Release  of  Alvarado's  Prisoners  of 
State— Exit   the   Free  State. 


CHAPTER  XIV. 

Decline  and  Fall  of  Mexican  Domination 


Hijos  del  Pais  in  Power — The  Capital  Question — The  Foreigners  Becoming  a  Menace — 
Graham  Affair — Micheltorena  Appointed  Governor — His  Cholo  Army — Commodore  Jones 
Captures  Monterey — The  Governor  and  the  Commodore  Meet  at  Los  Angeles — Extrava- 
gant Demands  of  Micheltorena — Revolt  Against  Micheltorena  and  His  Army  of  Chicken 
Thieves — Sutter  and  Graham  Join  Forces  with  Micheltorena — The  Picos  Unite  with 
Alvarado  Mid  Castro — Battle  of  Cahuenga — Micheltorena  and  His  Cholos  Deported — Pico, 
Governor — Castro  Rebellious — The  Old  Feud  Between  the  North  and  the  South — Los 
Angeles  the  Capital — Plots  and  Counter-Plots — Pico  Made  Governor  by  President  Herrera 
— Immigration  from  the  United  States. 


CHAPTER  XV. 

Municipal  Government — Homes  and  Home  Life  of  the  Californians 114 

I  he  ".Mm  [lustre  ^.yuntamiento,"  or  Municipal  Council — Its  Unlimited  Power,  Queer  Cus- 
toms and  Quaint  Usages— Blue  Laws— How  Office  Sought  the  Man  and  Caught  Him— 
Architecture  of  the  Mission  Age  Not  Aesthetic— Dress  of  the  Better  Class— Undress  of 
the  Neophyte  and  the  Peon— Fashions  That  Changed  but  Once  in  Fifty  Years— FiliaJ 
Ri  pect  -Honor  Thy  Father  and  Mother— Economy  in  Government — When  Men's  Pleas- 
ures and   Vices   Paid  the  Cost  of  Governing— No  Fire  Department— No  Paid  Police— No 


CHAPTER  XVI. 
rial  Expansion  b\   Co   q   i         119 

!ii      Wi        in    Wai      Wore   Slave  Territory   Needed— Hostilities  Begun  in  Texas— Trouble 

1  alifornia — Fremont   at    Monterey— Fremont    and    Castro    Quarrel— Fremont' 

Men    Depart      Arrival  oi   Lieutenant  Gillespie— Follows  Fremont— Fremont's  Re- 

Revoll     Seizure  of  Sonoma— A   Short-Lived  Republic— Commodore 

m\     Retreats    S.  uthward— Meets    Pico's    Advancing 

North'  1  os    Angeles     Stockton  and  Fremont  Invade  the  South— Pico  and 

Vainly    Attempl  People— Pico's   Humane   Proclamation— Flight  of 

1  ■  ;■  ■  Lo      \ngeles— Issues   a   Proclamation— Some    His- 

Pul  I    bed  in  California. 


CONTENTS. 


CHAPTER  XVII. 


Revolt  of  the  Californians I25 

Stockton  Returns  to  His  Ship  and  Fremont  Leaves  for  the  North— Captain  Gillespie, 
Comandante,  in  the  South— Attempts  Reforms— Californians  Rebei— The  Americans  Be- 
siege'd  on  Fort  Hill— Juan  Flaca's  Famous  Ride— Battle  of  Chino— Wilson's  Company 
Prisoners— Americans  Agree  to  Evacute  Los  Angeles — Retreat  to  San  Pedro— Cannon 
Thrown  into  the  Bay — Flores  in  Command  of  the  Californians. 


CHAPTER  XVIII. 

Defeat  and  Retreat  of  Mervine's  AIex 129 

Mervine,  in  Command  of  the  Savannah,  Arrives  at  San  Pedro — Landing  of  the  Troops — 
Mervine  and  Gillespie  Unite  Their  Forces— On  to  Los  Angeles— Duvall's  Log  Book— An 
Authentic  Account  of  the  March,  Battle  and  Retreat— Names  of  the  Killed  and  Wounded— 
Burial  of  the  Dead  on  Dead  Man's  Island— Names  of  the  Commanding  Officers— Flores 
the  Last  Gefe  Politico  and  Comandante-General — Jealousy  of  the  Hijos  del  Pais — Hard 
Times  in  the  Old  Pueblo. 


CHAPTER  XIX. 
Final  Conquest  of  California 


Affairs  in  the  North— Fremont's  Battalion— Battle  of  Natividad— Bloodless  Battle  of  Santa 
Clara— End  of  the  War  in  the  North— Stockton  at  San  Pedro— Carrillo's  Strategy— A  Re- 
markable Battle — Stockton  Arrives  at  San  Diego — Building  of  a  Fort — Raid  on  the 
Ranchos — The  Flag  Episode — General  Kearny  Arrives  at  Warner's  Pass — Battle  of  San 
Pasqual — Defeat  of  Kearny — Heavy  Loss — Relief  Sent  Him  from  San  Diego — Ereparing 
tor  the  Capture  of  Los  Angeles— The  March— Battle  of  Paso  de  Bartolo— Battle  of  La 
Mesa — Small  Losses— American  Names  of  These  Battles  Misnomers. 

CHAPTER  XX. 

Capture  and  Occupation  of  the  Capital 141 

Surrender  of  Los  Angeles — March  of  the  Victors — The  Last  Volley — A  Chilly  Recep- 
tion— A  Famous  Scold — On  the  Plaza — Stockton's  Headquarters — Emory's  Fort — Fre- 
mont's Battalion  at  San  Fernando — The  Flight  of  Flores — Negotiations  with  General  Pico — . 
Treaty  of  Cahuenga — Its  Importance — Fremont's  Battalion  Enters  the  City — Fremont. 
Governor — Quarrel  Between  Kearny  and  Stockton — Kiarny  Departs  for  San  Diego  and 
Stockton's  Men  for  San  Pedro. 

CHAPTER  XXI. 

Transition  and  Transformation 144 

Colonel  Fremont  in  Command  at  Los  Angeles — The  Mormon  Battalion — Its  Arrival  at 
San  Luis  Rey,  Sent  to  Los  Angeles — General  Kearny  Governor  at  Monterey — Rival 
Governors — Col.  R.  B.  Mason,  Inspector'of  the  Troops  in  California — He  Quarrels  with 
Fremont— Fremont    Challenges    Him— Colonel    Cooke    Made    Commander    of   the    Military 


24  CONTENTS. 

PACE 

District  of  the  Smith— Fremont's  Battalion  Mustered  Out— Fremont  Ordered  to  Report 
Returns  to  the  States  with  Kearny— Placed  Under  Arrest— Court-Martialed 
—Found  Guilty— Pardoned  by  the  President— Rumors  ol  a  Mexican  Invasion— Building 
of  a  Fort— Col.  J.  B.  Stevenson  Commands  in  the  Southern  District— A  Fourth  of  July 
ration— The  Fort  Dedicated  and  Named  Fort  Moore— The  New  York  Volunteers- 
Company  F,  Third  U.  S.  Artillery.  Arrives— The  Mormon  Battalion  Mustered  Out- 
Commodore  Shubrick  and  General  Kearny  Jointly  Issue  a  Proclamation  to  the  People- 
Col.  R.  B.  Mason.  Military  Governor  of  California— A  Policy  of  Conciliation— Varela. 
Agitator  and  Revolutionist,  Makes  Trouble— Overland  Immigration  Under  Mexican  Rule— 
The   First  Train— Dr.   Marsh'?   Meanness— The   Fate  of  the  Donner  Party. 

^     J*     Jt 

CHAPTER  XXII. 

Mexican  Laws  and  American  Officials 150 

Richard  A.  Mason.  Commander  of  the  Military  Forces  and  Civil  Governor  of  California — 
Civil  and  Military  Laws — The  First  Trial  by  Jury — Americanizing  the  People — Perverse 
Electors  and  Contumacious  Councilmen — Absolute  Alcaldes — Nash  at  Sonoma  and  Bill 
Blackburn  at  Santa  Cruz — Queer  Decisions — El  Canon  Perdidc  of  Santa  Barbara — Ex- 
ernor  Pio  Pico  Returns — Treaty  of  Guadaloupe  Hidalgo — Peace  Proclaimed — The 
News  Reaches  California — Country  Acquired  by  the  Treaty — The  Volunteers  Mustered 
Out. 

J*     ■*«     J 

CHAPTER  XXIII. 
Gold!     Gold!    Gold! 155 

Traditii  ns  of    Early   Gold  Discoveries  in  California — The  First  Authenticated  Discovery — 

Marshall's    Discovery    at    Colomas—  Disputed    Dates   and    Conflicting   Stories   About    the 

Discovi  r:      Sutter's  Account— James  W.  Marshall— His  Story— The  News  Travels  Slowly— 

-lit— The  Rush  Begins— San   Francisco  Deserted— The  Star  and  the 

.111    Suspend     Publication— The    News    Spreads— Sonorian    Migration— Oregonians 

the   States— A   Tea   Caddy   Full   of  Gold  at  the  War  Office, 

Washington— Seeing   Is   Believing— Gold    Hunters   Come   by   Land  and  Sea— The   Pacific 

Mail   Steamship  Company— Magical   Growth  of  San  Francisco— The  Dry  Diggings— Some 

Remarkable    Yields— Forty   Dollars  for  a  Butcher   Knife— Extent  of  the  Gold  Fields. 


CHAPTER  XXIV. 
a   State 162 

Bennett  Riley,  Governor— Unsatisfactory  Form  of  Government— Semi-Civil  and  Semi-Mil- 
Does    X< 'thing— The    Slave-Holding   Faction    Prevents   Action— Growing 
"  '  Co       ini-11     Constitution  Making— The  .Great  Seal— Election  of 

11  BuTnett,  Governor— Inauguration  of  a  State  Government— The 
tituted  Stati  The  Pro-Slavery  Faction  in  Congress— Op- 
pose thi  1  Defeat  1  the  Obstructionists— California  Admitted  into 
;ne  Unil  ficenl  Procession— California  Full  Grown  at  Birth— 
The  Capital  Qu<  1  Losi  th<  Capital— Vallejo  Wins— Goes  to' Sacramento- 
Question  in  the  Courts— Sacramento  Wins— Capitol  Building 
Begun  in  i860— Completed  in  1869. 


CONTENTS.  25 

CHAPTER  XXV. 

PAGE 

The   Argonauts 169 

Who  First  Called  Them  Argonauts — How  They  Came  and  From  Where  They  Came — 
Extent  of  the  Gold  Fields — Mining  Appliances — Bateas,  Gold  Pans,  Rockers,  Long  Toms, 
Sluices — Useless  Machines  and  Worthless  Inventions — Some  Famous  Gold  Rushes — Gold 
Lake — Gold  Bluffs — Kern  River — Frazer  River — Washoe — Ho  for  Idaho! — Social  Level- 
ing— Capacity  for  Physical  Labor  the  Standard — Independency  and  Honesty  of  the  Argo- 
nauts. 

CHAPTER  XXVI. 

San  Francisco   175 

The  First  House — A  Famous  Fourth  of  July  Celebration — The  Enterprise  of  Jacob  P.  Leese 
— General  Kearny's  Decree  for  the  Sale  of  Water  Lots — Alcalde  Bartlett  Changes  the 
Name  of  the  Town  from  Yerba  Buena  to  San  Francisco — Hostility  of  the  Star  to  the 
Change — Great  Sale  of  Lots  in  the  City  of  Francisca,  now  Benicia — Its  Boom  Bursts — 
Population  of  San  Francisco  September  4,  1847 — Vocations  of  Its  Inhabitants — Population 
March,  1848 — Vioget's  Survey — O'Farrell's  Survey — Wharves — The  First  School  House— 
The  Gold  Discovery  Depopulates  the  City— Reaction— Rapid  Growth— Description  of  the 
City  in  April,  1850 — Great  Increase  in  Population — How  the  People  Lived  and  Labored — 
Enormous  Rents — High  Priced  Real  Estate — Awful  Streets — Flour  Sacks,  Cooking  Stove 
and  Tobacco' Box  Sidewalk — Ships  for  Houses — The  Six  Great  Fires — The  Boom  of  1853 — 
The  Burst  of  1855— Harry  Meigs— Steady  Growth  of  the  City. 

J*    jt    Jjt 

CHAPTER  XXVII. 
Crime,  Criminals  and  Vigilance  Committees 182 


But  Little  Crime  in  California  Under  Spanish  and  Mexican  Rule— The  First  Vigilance 
Committee  of  California— The  United  Defenders  of  Public  Safety— Execution  of  Alispaz 
and  Maria  del  Rosario  Villa — Advent  of  the  Criminal  Element — Criminal  Element  in  the 
Ascendency— Incendiarism,  Theft  and  Murder— The  San  Francisco  Vigilance  Committee 
of  1851 — Hanging  of  Jenkins — A  Case  of  Mistaken  Identity — Burdue  for  Stuart — Arrest, 
Trial  and  Hanging  of  Stuart— Hanging"  of  Whittaker  and  McKenzie— The  Committee 
Adjourns  but  Does  Not  Disband — Its  Work  Approved — Corrupt  Officials — James  King 
of  William  Attacks  Political  Corruption  in  the  Bulletin — Richardson  killed  by  Cora — 
Scathing  Editorials— Murders  and  Thefts— Attempts  to  Silence  King— King  Exposes 
James  P.  Casey's  State's  Prison  Record— Cowardly  Assassination  of  King  by  Casey— 
Organization  of  the  Vigilance  Committee  of  1856—  Fatal  Mistake  of  the  Herald— Casey 
and  Cora  in  the  Hands  of  the  Committee— Death  of  King— Hanging  of  Casey  and  Cora- 
Other  Executions— Law  and  Order  Party— Terry  and  His  Chivalrous  Friends— They  Are 
Glad  to  Subside — Black  List  and  Deportations — The  Augean  Stable  Cleaned — The  Com- 
mittee's Grand  Parade — Vigilance  Committees  in  Los  Angeles — Joaquin  Murrieta  and  His 
Banditti— Tiburcio  Vasquez  and  His  Gang. 

J*     J*     J* 

CHAPTER  XXVIII. 


Filibusters  and  Filibustering. 


The  Origin  of  Filibustering  in  California— Raousset-Boulbon's   Futile  Schemes 
ecution— William  Walker— His   Career  as  a   Doctor,   Lawyer  and  Journalist— Recruits   Fili- 
busters—Lands  at  La  Paz— His  Infamous  Conduct  in   Lower  California— Failure  of   His 


CONTENTS. 


Schemi  \  Farcical  Trial — Lionized  in  San  Francisco — His  Operations  in  Nicaragua- 
Battles — Decree-  Slavery  in  Nicaragua — Driven  Out  of  Nicaragua — Tries  Again — Is  Cap- 
tured and  Shot — Crabb  and  His  Unfortunate  Expedition — Massacre  of  the  Misguided 
Adventurers — Filibustering   Ends   When   Secession   Begins. 


CHAPTER  XXIX. 
From  Gold  to  Grain  and  Fruits 199 

Mexican  Farming — But  Little  Fruit  and  Few  Vegetables — Crude  Farming  Implements — 
The  Agricultural  Capabilities  of  California  Underestimated — Wheat  the  Staple  in  Central 
California — Cattle  in  the  South — Gold  in  the  North — Big  Profits  in  Grapes — Orange  Culture 
Begun  in  the  South — Apples,  Peaches,  Pears  and  Plums — The  Sheep  Industry — The  Famine 
Years  of  1863  and  1864  Bring  Disaster  to  the  Cattle  Kings  of  the  South — The  Doom  of 
Their  Dynasty — Improvement  of  Domestic  Animals — Exit  the  Mustang — Agricultural  Col- 


CHAPTER  XXX. 
Civil   War — Loyalty  and  Disloyalty 


State  Division  and  What  Became  of  It — Broderick's  Early  Life — Arrival  in  California- 
Enters  the  Political  Arena — Gwin  and  Broderick — Duel  Between  Terry  and  Broderick- 
Death  of  Broderick — Gwin-Latham  Combination — Firing  on  Fort  Sumter — State  Loyal- 
Treasonable  Utterance — A  Pacific  Republic — Disloyalty  Rampant  in  Southern  California- 
l  in.  hi  Sentiments  Triumphant — Confederate  Sympathizers  Silenced. 


CHAPTER    XXXI. 

Trade,  Travel  and  Transportation 


Spanish  Trade— Fixed  Prices— No  Cornering  the  Market— Mexico's  Methods  of  Trade— 
II.,  MM,  Droghers— Trade— Ocean  Commerce  and  Travel— Overland  Routes— Overland 
Stage  Routes— Inland  Commerce— The  Pony  Express— Stage  Lines— Pack  Trains— Camel 
Caravans— The  Telegraph  and  the  Railroad— Express  Companies. 


Railroads 2Ig 

R     Iroad  Scheme— The  Pacific  Railroad  in  Politics— Northern 
Routes  and  Southern   Rout       in   1   Railroad  in  California— Pacific  Railroad  Rills  in  Con- 
V   Decade  -1    Vgitation   and    No   Road     The  Central   and  Union   Pacific   Railroads- 
Ac'    '"    |S|'-'     Subsidies     The    Southern    Pacific    Railroad    System— Its    Incorporation   and 
Charlei     It-  Growth  and  Development   -The  Santa  Fe  System— Other  Railroads. 


CONTENTS.  27 

CHAPTER  XXXIII. 


The  Indian  Question. 


The  Spaniards  and  Mexicans  Not  Town  Builders — Francisca.  on  the  Straits  of  Carquinez, 
the  First  American  City — Its  Brilliant  Prospects  and  Dismal  Failure — San  Francisco — Its 
Population  and  Expansion — Los  Angeles,  the  Only  City  in  California  Before  the  Conquest 
— Population  and  Development — Oakland,  an  American  City — Population — Sacramento. 
the  Metropolis  of  the  Mines — San  Jose,  the  Garden  City — Stockton,  the  Entrepot  of  the 
Southern  Alines — San  Diego,  the  Oldest  City — Fresno — Vallejo — Nevada  City — Grass  Val- 
ley—  Eureka — Marysville — Redding — Pasadena— Pomona — San  Bernardino — Riverside. 


229 


Treatment  of  the  Indians  by  Spain  and  Mexico— A  Conquista— Unsanitary  Condition  of  the 
Mission  Villages— The  Mission  Neophyte  and  What  Became  of  Him— Wanton  Outrages  on 
the  Savages— Some  So-Called  Indian  Wars— Extermination  of  the  Aborigines— Indian 
Island  Massacre— The  Mountaineer  Battalion— The  Two  Years'  War— The  Modoc  War. 


CHAPTER  XXXIV. 
Some  Political  History 

Advent  of  the  Chinese— Kindly  Received  at  First— Given  a  Public  Reception— The  "China 
Boys"  Become  Too  Many— Agitation  and  Legislation  Against  Them— Dennis  Kearney 
and  the  Sand  Lot  Agitation— Kearney's  Slogan,  "The  Chinese  Must  Go"— How  Kearney 
Went— The  New  Constitution— A  Mixed  Convention— Opposition  to  the  Constitution— 
The  Constitution  Adopted — Defeat  of  the  Workingmen's  Party — A  New  Treaty  with 
China— Governors  of  California,  Spanish,  Mexican  and  American. 


CHAPTER  XXXV. 

Education  and  Educational  Institution 235 

Public  Schools  in  the  Spanish  Era — Schools  of  the  Mexican  Period — No  Schools  for  the 
Neophytes— Early  American  Schools— First  School  House  in  San  Francisco— The  First 
American  Teacher — The  First  School  Law — A  Grand  School  System — University  of  the 
Pacific— College  of  California— University  of  California— Stanford  University— Normal 
Schools. 


CHAPTER  XXXVI. 
Cities  of  California — Their  Origin  and  Growth 


NDEX. 


A. 

PAGE 

Abbott,  C.  S 573 

Adcock,  J.  A.  G 670 

Albright,    Joseph 546 

Alexander,  Elmer   P 589 

Alexander,  Hon.  J.  K 381 

Allen,   Thomas   F 728 

Alzina,    Enoch 673 

Anderson,  C.  L.,  M.  D 502 

Anderson,  Capt.  Gilbert  L 508 

Anderson,  J.   L 595 

Andresen,  J 3l9 

Andrews,  Perry  M 54S 

Andrews,   Truman 299 

Angell,   F.   A 502 

Anthony,   Hon.    Elihu 667 

Arentz,    Rev.    Theodore 646 

Arguello,   Luis   L 727 

Atteridge,    Arthur 633 

Austin,   F.    Sands 547 

B. 

Baker,  William   A 564 

Baldwin,  Alfred 271 

Baldwin,    Levi   K 679 

Barbree,  J.  M 288 

Barbree,  W.  R 288 

Bardin,    Charles 642 

Bardin,   Henry 647 

Barneberg,    J.  #  W 648 

Barnhardt,   J.    P 727 

Barrett,    Thomas 586 

Bartholomew,    Lewis    L 557 

Bedell,  Alexander 498 

Beebee,   William   D 347 

Beebee,  William  L 347 

Beilby,    Joseph    W 652 

Bennett,    W.    C 558 

Bentley,  William  H 653 

Besse,    John    N 648 

Besse,    Milton 674 

Bias,    William   H 512 

Bierer,    Benjamin    B 597 

Bixby,  A.  William,  M.  D 556 

Black,  W.  W 670 

Blackburn,   Jacob    A 297 

Blackburn,  Judge  William 639 


PAGE 

Blessing    Brothers 722 

Bliss,   Moses   B 698 

Bloom,  Irvin  T 734 

Booth,    A.    R 306 

Bosse,   Henry 556 

Boston,  Joseph 497 

Boysen,  John  J 558 

Bradbury,   Frank   R 554 

Brassell,   Hans   P 552 

Bray,   John   H 563 

Breen,  John 596 

Brendlin,   August 654 

Brewer,   Lyman 548 

Bridgewater,    Cyrus    W 553 

Briggs,  Hon.  H.  W 283 

Brooks,    Benjamin 554 

Brooks,   M.  -H 562 

Brooks,    Truman 369 

Brown,  James  A 492 

Buffington,   J.   Q 562 

Burke,   Mrs.   Mary 653 

Burnett,  J.  K 654 

Burnett,    M.    D 401 

Butler,   George 492 

Butler,   George   R 552 

C. 

Call,    Silas   B 298 

Callihan,  William 568 

Carr,   E.  M 534 

Carr,  Hon.  Jesse  D 265 

Casey,    William 561 

Cass,  James 321 

Chamberlain,  Charles  G 277 

Chaney,   William 726 

Chappell,  Dr.  J.  A 530 

Chappell,  Thomas 605 

Chope,  Mrs.  Nellie  M 526 

Clark,  David  C 681 

Clark,  George  D 531 

Clark,  H.  H.,  M.  D 675 

Clark,    William    W 491 

Clough,    David    M 533 

Cochran,  J.   D 532 

Congdon,  Willis  R„  M.   D....  661 

Cook.     William    A 532 

Cooley,  William  R 545 

29 


PAGE 

Cooper,  William  B 530 

Corey,    Hiram 465 

Corey,  Josiah  P 282 

Costello,    Abraham 564 

Cowles.    Horace    H 682 

Cowles,    Timothy 355 

Cox,  Abraham  P 455 

Cox,   Peter 685 


D. 


Daugherty,    G    A 709 

Davis,    Mrs.    E 456 

Davis,  George  L 459 

Davis,   Hiram  L 621 

DeHart,    William 282 

Demartini,  Paul  B 456 

Dodge,   William  R 433 

Donati,   Samuel 726 

Dool,  William  H 721 

Dooling,  Hon.  M.  T 569 

Doud,  Francis 461 

Driscoll,  Bartholomew  L 646 


Eardley,   B.  A 593 

Eaton,  E.  A 462 

Eaton,  Robert  W 568 

Edgar,    Joseph 467 

Egan,  Judge   Martin 467 

Ehnert,   August 721 

Elberg,   Mark 315 

Elliott,   William  T 700 

Ellis,   Ozro  M 400 

Ely,  William  H 488 

Enright,  Joseph  D 490 

Estabrook,   C.   R 7-'o 

Estudillo,  Jose  V 466 

Esty,  J.  D 488 

Evans,  W.  H 461 


Fagen,  Mrs.  Mary  E.. 

509 

Feliz,  Hon.  F.  P 

275 

Felts,  J.  M 

468 

Fiedler,   John    F 

468 

Field,   Thomas  J 

36l 

INDEX. 


PAGE 

Filipponi.   Dennis 359 

Fletcher,  H.  S 278 

Flint.    R.    G 356 

Flint,    Thomas,    Jr 719 

Foreman,  Solomon  W 337 

Foster.    Jacob 720 

Foster,  Stephen  T 44° 

Fowler,  James  D 363 

Fredson,    A.    H 598 

Freeman,   Frank  W 361 

Fuller,  James  H 676 

G. 

Gagnon,   Michael 5-9 

Galbraith,  Archibald  M.,  M.  D.   274 

Galligan,    Peter    C 73° 

Garcia,   A.    C 7i& 

Gardner.  W.  M 378 

Cause,    Frank   E 377 

Geil,   Samuel   F 551 

Gibson,  Alexander  C 372 

Gilkey,   William  T 37'J 

Gingg,  G.   C 37i 

Gonzales,  Miss  B 370 

Gonzales,  M.  E.,  M.  D 370 

Gordon,  S.  B.,  M.  D 366 

Grant,  Miss  E.   May 600 

Graves,  Thomas 365 

Graves,  Hon.  William 718 

Greene,  Harry  A 272 

Greene,  William  E 717 

Gregg,  Joseph  W 364 

Griswold,  William 309 

Guthrie,  Samuel 362 

H. 

Haight,  N.  H.,  M.  D 393 

Hall,  Hon.  James  A 276 

Hall.   Richard   F 275 

Hamilton,    Robert    E 508 

Handley,   J.    J 393 

Hanson,    S.   H 655 

Hardie,  Angus  M 384 

Harloe,  Capt.  Marcus 289 

Hartman.    Isaiah 645 

Hassett,   Rev.    P 318 

Hatton.    William 603 

Hawkins,  Thomas   S 577 

Hazard,  Robert  J 411 

Hebert,  Cheri  7. 523 

Hebert,   Zephrin 523 

Helgesen,  S.,  M.  D 382 

Hersom,  John    A 383 

Higby,    Hon.   William 717 

Hihn,    Frederick   A 259 

Hildebrant,  Noah 37« 

Hill,   Prof.  Charles  C 277 


PAGE 

Hill,    Hon.   W.   J 736 

Hitchcock,   Benjamin 294 

Hoffmann,    Christian 669 

Hollingsworth.  Thomp-~.ui  L     -  208 

Hollister,  Hon.  John  H 317 

Hollister,  j.   Hubbard 311 

Holohan.  Richard 384 

Houghton,  F.  K 392 

Hoyt,    Hazen 388 

Hudner,  John  L 576 

Hudson,   Mark  A 386 

Hudson,   Hon.   W.   G 387 

Hughes,   Alfred 570 

Hughes,    M 386 

Hunter,   John 385 

Hushbeck,    Lewis 57° 

Hutson,    N 711 

I. 

Iverson,  E.  P 331 

I verson,  John 580 

Iverson,  J.  B 331 

Ivins,    E.    C 673 

J. 

Jack,   R.    E 304 

James,    William   W 397 

Jeff ery,  James 735 

Jenkins.    Miss    Isabelle    M 396 

Jessen   &    Petersen 396 

Johnson,  Hon.   Charles  H 295 

Johnson,   R.   F 712 

Johnson,   W.   G 395 

Jordan,  John 394 

Jordan,    Patrick 394 

Joy,  John  G 267 

Judd.  A.  N 578 

K. 

Kaetzel,  Philip 39S 

Kalar,  J.  D 401 

Kane,   John 510 

Karner,   Zadock 705 

Km.    M.    R 710 

Kellogg,  Frank  F." 316 

Kellogg,  Giles  P 316 

Kelly,   Edward 513 

Kennaugh,    John 513 

Kent,  John  T 300 

Kerns,    Mr-.    Mary 511 

King,  James  1 485 

King,  Thomas  A 685 

K.rk,  Edward  W 402 

Knight,  Benjamin   K 514 

Kuhlitz,    Charles 733 

Kunitz,  Johan  E 651 


Lacy.  C.  F 702 

Lambert,  Capt.  T.  G 402 

Lamborn,  Josiah  W 403 

Landrum,   Mark  L 404 

Lathrop.    R.    P 656 

Lee,  Hon.  Julius 405 

Lee,  Tom 406 

Leese,   David 507 

Leese,  Jacob   P 503 

Leonard,  J.  J.  C 518 

Lewis,  J.  J 406 

Lincoln,  Orlando  J 517 

Lindsay,   Carl   E 707 

Linscott,  John  W 687 

Littlefield,   Edward   E 407 

Loeber,  Henry  F 536 

Long,  Samuel  B 445 

Lorenzen,    Lawrence 519 

Lucas,    Frederick   W 686 

Lull,   George   W 417 

Lynch,    Sedgwick  J 708 

Lynskey,   Walter 688 

M. 

-McCarthy.   Charles   P 706 

McCollum,  Joseph 6S9 

McCurry,  Dr.  J.  M 353 

McDougall,   James   H 284 

McFadden,    Charles 615 

McGowan,   William  J 447 

McGuire,  John  A.,  M.  D 688 

McKinnon,  Duncan 539 

McLean,    Allan 587 

McManus,  L.  M 448 

Mann,   Christopher 454 

Mann,  Ezekiel  J 710 

Mann,   Jackson 701 

Mansfield,  C.  H 453 

Manuel.  A.  A 583 

Margetts,   Charles   U 447 

Martin,  Charles  M 449 

Martin,    Hon.    Edward 604 

Martinelli,   Louis 450 

Mason,   S.   J.,   Sr 610 

Mattison,   Frank 524 

Meadowcroft,  William  H 450 

Meder,  Moses  A 698 

Menke,   J.    H 354 

Merritt,  Hon.  Josiah 289 

Merritt,    Manuel    R 310 

Miller,   Capt.   Charles   F 599 

Monteith,    A 460 

Moreland,   Samuel 391 

Moretti,    Louis 600 

Morgan.   John    W 606 

Morcy,    James 610 


INDEX. 


31 


PAGE 

Muma,  B.  Frank 455 

Murphy,   John   D 702 

Muscio,    Abram 662 

N. 

Nelson,  Albert 728 

Nelson,   Herbert 412 

Nelson,  Henry 408 

Newsom,  Davis  F 443 

Nichols,  Urial  S 611 

Norris,  B.  F 407 

o. 

O'Brien,    William 414 

Oliver,  Joseph   K 413 

Orcutt,    Jacob    H 342 

Ord,    George    M 611 

P. 

Palmer,    Charles    A 734 

Palmer,  George  F 570 

Palmtag,   Christian 430 

Palmtag,  William 584 

Pardee,  Hon.  George 343 

Parker,    W.    E 429 

Parsons,    George    W 428 

Parsons,   Henry   F 616 

Parsons,    Worthington 627 

Paterson,    Alexander 42S 

Patten,   J.    A 414 

Patterson,  Benjamin  F 731 

Patton,  John  W 418 

Payne,   Ernest   M 419 

Peery,  Joseph  W 690 

Pell,  James   A 427 

Pence,    Wallace    M 567 

Perry,    Elliott    D 617 

Peterson,   Peter 691 

Pfister,    Albert 312 

Phillips,  Thomas  E 426 

Phillips,    W.    C 426 

Pickles,  Shelley 424 

Pierce,  B.  B 680 

Pinho,  A.  G 425 

Pope,  Horace  W 615 

Porter,  B.  F 612 

Porter,  Robert 423 

Porter,   Warren    R 696 

Potter,   David   W 424 

Prinz,    Herman    J.    0 420 

Putnam,    R.    W 419 

Q. 

Quick,  M.  W 618 

Quirk,   Michael 535 


R. 

PAGE 

Radcliff,  Hon.  George  G 349 

Rambo,  Samuel  H 658 

Rankin,  J.   E„    M.   D 706 

Redman,   James 622 

Redman,  K.  F 309 

Reed,  Charles   C 354 

Reed,   Charles    H 430 

Renison,  Hon.  Thomas. ....'..  344 

Rianda,   Stephen 618 

Ring,   Joseph    H 735 

Riordan,    Thomas    J 732 

Rist,    Henry   M 732 

Robertson,  Robert 658 

Rodgers,    James    M 487 

Rodrick,    David 542 

Rogers,  Robert  J 536 

Rogge,  Henry  T 579 

Romie,    Charles   T 689 

Roselip,    Albert 305 

Ross,  Hugh,  M.  D 545 

Rowe,    George    W 586 

Rowe,  James  H 525 

Rowe,    Marion    T 520 

Ryan,    John    M 583 

S. 

Sally,   Abraham 739 

Sanborn,    Lucian 334 

Sanborn,  L.   W 334 

Sanborn,  William  A 340 

Sargent,  Bradley  V 725 

Sargent,  J.  P 595 

Sawyer,  E.  A 697 

Scaroni,   Pio 624 

Scott,  J.   B 590 

Scott,  William   T 589 

Sebastian,  R  M 697 

Shackelford,  R.  M 588 

Shelby,  Granville  C 622 

Shipsey,  William 334 

Short,    Cyrus 662 

Simmler,    Hon.    J.    J 281 

Smith,  A.  W 663 

Smith.    Leonard   J 628 

Smyth,   Rev.    B 736 

Spence,  Rudolph  B 664 

Spencer,  W.  H 341 

Spurrier,  George  F 668 

Steele,    Edgar   W 7-'9 

Steele,  Hon.  George 338 

Stewart,    Neil    585 

Stocking,  Joseph  C 486 

Stoesser,    Otto 359 

Stoffers,   Henry 624 

Storm,   Christian    F 738 

Storm,    Peter 475 


PAGE 

Stoters,   Rev.   Peter 485 

Sullivan,   William 482 

Swanton,   A.   P 623 

Swanton,  Fred  W 741 

Swenson,  Christian  S 482 

T. 

Tarleton,   Thomas  S 629 

Telleen,    Charles    A 481 

Tennant,   John 730 

Therwachter,   Fred 470 

Thompson,   Christopher 730 

Thompson,   Edward   D 629 

Thompson,  Joseph   A 73S 

Thompson,    John    H 480 

Thompson,    Richard 627 

Thompson,   Uriah  W 633 

Tidball,  Capt.  Thomas  T 375 

Titamore,  Herbert  E 479 

Tognazzini,  A 477 

Tognazzini,    Peter 478 

Tollett,  Henry  C 517 

Tompkins,    Heman 475 

Trafton,  John  E 423 

Trafton,  William  A 287 

Trescony,  Julius  A 501 

Tuttle,   Daniel 472 

Turtle,    Iowa    H 476 

Turtle,    Morris   B 628 

Tuttle,    Owen 593 

Tuttle,  Owen  S 4;-' 

Tynan,   Michael 471 

U. 

Underwood,   A.   R 471 

Underwood,   Charles 470 

V. 

Vanderhurst,   William 293 

Van  Gordon,  Gilbert 319 

Van   Gordon,   Ira 318 

M.-l  >owell  R }.^2 

Villegas,  Y.   P 469 

Vorbeck,   Fritz 469 

W. 

Wagner.   John 641 

Wahrlich,   William  333 

Waite,  H.  U 436 

Warden,  I  lor. km  M 325 

Warden.  William  II 699 

Waters,  James. .  -  49s 

Watkins,  E.  C 

Walters.  P.  K..  M.  D 434 

David 446 

1  homas  J 695 


INDEX. 


PAGE 

Weferling,   Frederick   E 440 

Welch.   Richard   R 439 

Werner,    Charles 439 

Wessel,  H 43§ 

Whicher,  John 35° 

White.    Almon 635 

White,    Edward 326 

White,  William   A 641 

Wideman,  Alfred 74° 

Wilder,  Deloss  D 630 


PAGE 

Wiley,   Henry 3°5 

Wilkins.   Peter   V 634 

Willey,   R.   H 322 

Williams.   E.   L 640 

Willits,  L.   V 437 

Wilson,  Singleton  W 320 

Winkle,  Henry 635 

Wood,  Hiram  J 437 

Wood,    William    F 636 

Woods,  Victor  H 740 


PAGE 

Work,   T.   A 600 

Wright,  S.  V 435 

Y. 

York,  Andrew 328 

Younger,  Charles  B 715 

Younglove,  C.  A 446 

Z. 

Zabala.    Pedro 303 


,  ■yk^t^^^v7 


SOUTHERN  CALIFORNIA. 


CHAPTER   1. 


SPANISH    EXPLORATIONS    AND    DISCOVERIES. 


FOR  centuries  there  had  been  a  vague  tra- 
dition of  a  land  lying  somewhere  in  the 
seemingly  limitless  expanse  of  ocean 
stretching  westward  from  the  shores  of  Europe. 
The  poetical  fancy  of  the  Greeks  had  located  in 
it  the  Garden  of  Hesperides.  where  grew  the 
Golden  Apples.  The  myths  and  superstitions  of 
the  middle  ages  had  peopled  it  with  gorgons 
and  demons  and  made  it  the  abode  of  lost  souls. 

When  Columbus  proved  the  existence  of  a 
new  world  beyond  the  Atlantic,  his  discovery 
did  not  altogether  dispel  the  mysteries  and  su- 
perstitions that  for  ages  had  enshrouded  the 
fabled  Atlantis,  the  lost  continent  of  the  Hesperi- 
des. Romance  and  credulity  had  much  to  do 
with  hastening  the  exploration  of  the  newly  dis- 
covered western  world.  Its  interior  might  hold 
wonderful  possibilities  for  wealth,  fame  and  con- 
quest to  the  adventurers  who  should  penetrate 
its  dark  unknown.  The  dimly  told  traditions  of 
the  natives  were  translated  to  fit  the  cupidity  or 
the  credulity  of  adventurers,  and  sometimes 
served  to  promote  enterprises  that  produced  re- 
sults far  different  from  those  originally  intended. 

The  fabled  fountain  of  youth  lured  Ponce 
de  Leon  over  many  a  league  in  the  wilds  of 
Florida;  and  although  he  found  no  spring  spout- 
ing forth  the  elixir  of  life,  he  explored  a  rich 
and  fertile  country,  in  which  the  Spaniards 
planted  the  first  settlement  ever  made  within  the 
territory  now  held  by  the  United  States.  The 
legend  of  El  Dorado,  the  gilded  man  of  the 
golden  lake,  stimulated  adventurers  to  brave  tin- 
horrors  of  the  miasmatic  forests  of  the  Amazon 
and  the  Orinoco;  and  the  search  for  that  gold- 


covered  hombre  hastened,  perhaps,  by  a  hun- 
dred years,  the  exploration  of  the  tropical  re- 
gions of  South  America.  Although  the  myth  of 
Ouivira  that  sent  Coronado  wandering  over  des- 
ert, mountain  and  plain,  far  into  the  interior  of 
North  America,  and  his  quest  for  the  seven  cities 
of  Cibola,  that  a  romancing  monk,  Marcos  de 
Niza,  "led  by  the  Holy  Ghost,"  imagined  he 
saw  in  the  wilds  of  1'imeria,  brought  neither 
wealth  nor  pride  of  conquest  to  that  adventur- 
ous explorer,  yet  these  myths  were  the  indirect 
cause  of  giving  to  the  world  an  early  km  >u 
of  the  vast  regions  to  the  .north  of  Mexico. 

When  Cortes'  lieutenant,  Gonzalo  de  Sando- 
val, gave  his  superior  officer  an  account  of  a 
wonderful  island  ten  days  westward  from  the 
Pacific  coast  of  Mexico,  inhabited  by  women 
only,  and  exceedingly  rich  in  pearls  and  gold, 
although  he  no  doubt  derived  his  story  from 
Montalvo's  romance,  "The  Sergias  of  Esplan- 
dian,"  a  popular  novel  of  that  day.  yet  Cortes 
seems  to  have  given  credence  to  his  subordi- 
nate's tale,  and  kept  in  view  the  conquest  of  the 
island. 

To  the  energy,  the  enterprise  ami  the  genius 
of  llernan  Cortes  i-  due  the  early  exploration 
of  the  northwest  coast  of  North  America.  In 
[522,  eighty-five  years  before  the  English 
planted  their  first  colony  in  America,  and  nearly 
a  century  before  the  landing  i  f  the  Pilgrims  on 
Plymouth  rock,  Cortes  had  established  a  ship- 
yard at  Zacatula,  the  most  northern  port  on  the 
Pacific   •  country  that   he  had  just 

red.      I  lere  he  intended  to  build   si 
explore  the  upper  coast  of  the  South  S 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


the  Pacific  Ocean  was  then  called),  but  his  good 
fortune,  that  had  hitherto  given  success  to  his 
undertakings,  seemed  to  have  deserted  him.  and 
disaster  followed  disaster.  His  warehouse, 
filled  with  material  for  shipbuilding,  that  with 
great  labor  and  expense  had  been  packed  on 
muleback  from  Vera  Cruz,  took  fire  and  all  was 
destroyed.  It  required  years  to  accumulate  an- 
other supply.  He  finally,  in  1527,  succeeded  in 
launching  four  ships.  Three  of  these  were  taken 
possession  of  by  the  king's  orders  for  service  in 
the  East  Indies.  The  fourth  and  the  smallest 
made  a  short  voyage  up  the  coast.  The  com- 
mander. Maldonado,  returned  with  glowing  re- 
ports of  a  rich  country  he  had  discovered.  1  le 
imagined  he  had  seen  evidence  of  the  existence 
of  gold  and  silver,  but  he  brought  none  with 
him. 

In  1528  Cortes  was  unjustly  deprived  of  the 
government  of  the  country  he  had  conquered. 
His  successor,  Nuno  de  Guzman,  president  of 
the  royal  audiencia,  as  the  new  form  of  gov- 
ernment for  New  Spain  (Mexico)  was  called,  had 
pursued  him  fur  years  with  the  malignity  of  a 
demon.  Cortes  returned  to  Spain  to  defend 
himself  against  the  rancorous  and  malignant 
charges  of  his  enemies.  He  was  received  at 
court  with  a  show  of  high  honors,  but  which  in 
reality  were  hollow  professions  of  friendship 
and  insincere  expressions  of  esteem.  He  was 
rewarded  by  the  bestowal  of  an  empty  title.  He 
was  empowered  to  conquer  and  colonize  coun- 
tries at  his  own  expense,  for  which  he  was  to 
receive  the  twelfth  part  of  the  revenue.  Cortes 
returned  to  Mexico  ami  in  1532  he  had  two  ships 
fitted  out.  which  sailed  from  Acapulco,  in  June 
of  that  year,  up  the  coast  of  Jalisco.  Portions 
of  the  crews  of  each  vessel  mutinied.  The  mu- 
tineers were  put  aboard  of  the  vessel  com- 
manded by  Mazuela  and  the  other  vessels,  com- 
manded by  Hurtardo,  continued  the  voyage  as 
far  as  the  Yaqui  country.  Here,  having  landed 
in  search  of  provisions,  tin-  natives  massacred 
the  commander  and  all  the  crew.  The  crew  of 
the  other  vessel  shared  the  same  fate  lower 
down  the  coast.  The  stranded  vessel  was  after- 
wards plundered  and  dismantled  by  Nuno  de 
(in/man,  who  was  about  as  much  of  a  savage 
the  predatorj  and  murderous  natives. 


In  1533  Cortes,  undismayed  by  his  disasters, 
fitted  out  two  more  ship.s  for  the  exploration 
of  the  northern  coast  of  Mexico.  On  board  one 
of  these  ships,  commanded  by  Bercerra  de  Men- 
doza,  the  crew,  headed  by  the  chief  pilot,  Jim- 
inez,  mutinied.  Mendoza  was  killed  and  all 
who  would  not  join  the  mutineers  were  forced 
to  go  ashore  on  the  coast  of  Jalisco.  The  muti- 
neers, to  escape  punishment  by  the  authorities, 
under  the  command  of  the  pilot.  Fortuno  Jim- 
inez,  sailed  westerly  away  from  the  coast  of 
tlie  main  land.  After  several  days'  sailing  out 
of  sight  of  land,  they  discovered  what  they  sup- 
posed to  be  an  island.  They  landed  at  a  place- 
now  known  as  La  Paz,  Lower  California.  Here 
Jiminez  and  twenty  of  his  confederates  were 
killed  by  the  Indians,  or  their  fellow  mutineers, 
it  is  uncertain  which.  The  survivors  of  the  ill- 
fated  expedition  managed  to  navigate  the  vessel 
back  to  Jalisco,  where  they  reported  the  dis- 
ci lyery  of  an  island  rich  in  gold  and  pearls.  This 
fabrication  doubtlessly  saved  their  necks.  There 
is  no  record  of  their  punishment  for  mutiny. 
Cortes'  other  ship  accomplished  even  less  than 
the  one  captured  by  the  mutineers.  Grixalvo, 
the  commander  of  this  vessel,  discovered  a  des- 
olate island,  forty  leagues  south  of  Cape  San 
Lucas,  which  he  named  Santo  Tomas.  But  the 
discovery  that  should  immortalize  Grixalvo,  and 
place  him  in  the  category  with  the  romancing 
Monk,  de  Xiza  and  Sandoval  of  the  Amazonian 
isle,  was  the  seeing  of  a  merman.  It  swam  about 
about  the  ship  for  a  long  time,  playing  antics 
like  a  monkey  for  the  amusement  of  the  sailors, 
washing  its  face  with  its  hands,  combing  its  hair 
with  its  fingers:  at  last,  frightened  by  a  sea 
bird,  it  disappeared. 

Cortes,  having  heard  of  Jiminez's  discovery, 
and  possibly  believing  it  to  be  Sandoval's  isle 
of  tin-  Amazons,  rich  with  gold  ami  pearls,  set 
about  building  more  ships  for  exploration  and 
for  the  colonization  of  the  island.  He  ordered 
the  building  of  three  ships  at  Tehauntepec.  The 
royal  audencia  having  failed  to  give  him  any 
redress  or  protection  against  his  enemy.  Nuno 
de  Guzman,  he  determined  to  punish  him  him- 
self. Collecting  a  considerable  force  of  cava- 
liers and  soldiers,  he  marched  to  Chiametla. 
There  he  found  his  vessel.  La  Concepcion,  lying 


1142742 

HISTORICAL   AXD    BIOGRAPHICAL    RECORD. 


on  her  beam  ends,  a  wreck,  ami  plundered  of 
everything  of  value.  He  failed  to  find  Guzman. 
that  worthy  having  taken  a  hasty  departure  be- 
fore his  arrival.  His  ships  having  conic  up 
from  Tehauntepec,  he  embarked  as  many  sol- 
diers and  settlers  as  his  vessels  would  carry,  and 
sailed  away  for  Jiminez's  island.  May  3,  1535, 
he  landed  at  the  port  where  Jiminez  and  his  fel- 
low mutineers  were  killed,  which  he  named 
Santa  Cruz.  The  colonists  were  landed  on  the 
supposed  island  and  the  ships  were  sent  back 
to  Chiametla  for  the  remainder  of  the  settlers. 
His  usual  ill  luck  followed  him.  The  vessels 
became  separated  on  the  gulf  in  a  storm  and 
the  smaller  of  the  three  returned  to  Santa  Cruz. 
Embarking  in  it,  Cortes  set  sail  to  find  his  miss- 
ing ships.  He  found  them  at  the  port  of  Guaya- 
bal,  one  loaded  with  provisions,  the  other  dis- 
mantled and  run  ashore.  Its  sailors  had  de- 
serted and  those  of  the  other  ship  were  aboul 
to  follow.  Cortes  stopped  this,  took  command 
of  the  vessels  and  had  them  repaired.  When  the 
repairs  were  completed  he  set  sail  for  his  colony. 
But  misfortune  followed  him.  His  chief  pile  it 
was  killed  by  the  falling  of  a  spar  when  scarce 
out  of  sight  of  land.  Cortes  took  command  of 
the  vessels  himself.  Then  the  ships  encountered 
a  terrific  storm  that  threatened  their  destruc- 
tion. Finally  they  reached  their  destination, 
Santa  Cruz.  There  again  misfortune  awaited 
him.  The  colonists  could  obtain  no  sustenance 
from  the  barren  soil  of  the  desolate  island. 
Their  provisions  exhausted,  some  of  them  died 
of  starvation  and  the  others  killed  themselves 
by  over-eating  when  relief  came. 

Cortes,  finding  the  interior  of  the  supposed 
island  as  desolate  and  forbidding  as  the  coast, 
and  the  native  inhabitants  degraded  and  brutal 
savages,  without  houses  or  clothing,  living  on 
vermin,  insects  and  the  scant  products  of  the 
sterile  land,  determined  to  abandon  his  coloniza- 
tion scheme.  Gathering  together  the  wretched 
survivors  of  his  colony,  he  embarked  them  on 
his  ships  and  in  the  early  part  of  1537  landed 
them  in  the  port  of  Acapulco. 

At  some  time  between  1535  and  1537  the 
name  California  was  applied  to  the  supposed 
island,  but  whether  applied  by  Cortes  to  en- 
courage his  disappointed  colonists,  or  whether 


given  by  them  in  derision,  is  an  unsettled  ques- 
tion. 1  he  name  itself  is  derived  from  a  Spanish 
romance,  the  "Sergas  de  Esplandian,"  written 
by  Ordonez  de  Montalvo  and  published  in  Se- 
ville, Spain,  about  the  year  1510,  The  pa  ag 
in  which  the  name  California  occurs  is  as  fol- 
lows: "Know  thai  on  the  right  hand  of  the  In- 
dies there  is  an  island  called  California, very  near 
the  terrestrial  paradise,  which  was  people  1  with 
black  women,  without  an)  men  among  them, 
because  they  were  accustomed  to  live  after  the 
fashion  of  Amazons.  The)  were  of  strong  and 
hardened  bodies,  of  ardent  courage  and  great 
force.  The  island  was  the  strongest  in  the 
world  from  its  steep  rocks  and  great  cliffs. 
Their  arms  were  all  of  gold  and  so  were  the 
caparison  of  the  wild  beasts  which  they  rode, 
after  having  trained  them,  for  in  all  the  island 
there  is  no  other  metal."  The  "steep  rocks  and 
great  cliffs"  of  Jiminez's  island  may  have  sug- 
gested to  Cortes  or  to  his  colonists  some  fan- 
cied resemblance  to  tin  California  of  Montalvo's 
romance,  but  there  was  no  other  similarity. 

For  years  Cortes  had  been  fitting  out  ex- 
peditions by  land  and  sea  to  explore  the  un 
known  regions  northward  of  that  portion  of 
Mexico  which  he  had  conquered,  but  disaster 
after  disaster  had  wrecked  his  hopes  and  im- 
poverished his  purse.  The  last  expedition  sent 
out  by  him  was  one  commanded  by  Francisco 
Ulloa',  who.  in  1539.  with  two  ships,  sailed  up 
the  Gulf  of  California,  or  Sea  of  Cortes, 
Sonora  side,  to  its  head.  Thence  he  proceeded 
down  the  inner  coast  of  Lower  California  to 
the  cape  at  its  southern  extremity,  which  he 
doubled,  and  then  sailed  up  the  outer  coast  to 
Cabo  del  Engano,  the  "Cape  of  Deceit."  Fail- 
ing to  make  any  progress  against  the  head 
winds,  April  5.  1510.  the  two  ships  parted  com- 
pany in  a  storm.  The  smaller  one.  the  Santa 
Agueda.  returned  safely  to  Santiago.  'I  In- 
larger,  La  Trinidad,  after  vainly  endeavoring  to 
continue  the  voyage,  turned  back.  The  fate  of 
Ulloa  and  of  the  vessel  too.  is  uncertain.  One 
authority  says  he  was  assassinated  alter  n 
ing  the  coast  '  liers, 

who.    for    some   trivial    can 
death ;    anothi  r    accounl    saj  -    that 
known   of   his   fate,    nor   is    it    certain!' 


;:i; 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL    RECORD. 


whether  his  vessel  ever  returned.  The  only 
thing  accomplished  by  this  voyage  was  to  dem- 
onstrate that  Lower  California  was  a  peninsula. 
Even  this  fact,  although  proved  by  Ulloa's  voy- 
age, was  not  fully  admitted  by  geographers  until 
two  centuries  later. 

In  1540  Cortes  returned  to  Spain  to  obtain,  if 
possible,  some  recognition  and  recompense  from 
the  king  for  his  valuable  services.  His  declin- 
ing years  had  been  tilled  with  bitter  disappoint- 
ments. Shipwreck  and  mutiny  at  sea;  disaster 
and  defeat  to  his  forces  on  land;  the  treachery 
of  his  subordinates  and  the  jealousy  of  royal  of- 
ficials continually  thwarted  his  plans  and  wasted 
his  substance.  After  expending  nearly  a  million 
dollars  in  explorations,  conquests  and  attempts 
at  colonization,  fretted  and  worried  by  the  in- 
difference and  the  ingratitude  of  a  monarch  foi 
whom  he  had  sacrified  so  much,  disappointed, 
disheartened,  impoverished,  he  died  at  an  ob- 
scure hamlet  near  Seville,  Spain,  in  December, 
1547- 

The  next  exploration  that  had  something  to 
do  with  the  discovery  of  California  was  that  of 
Hernando  de  Alarcon.  With  two  ships  he  sailed 
from  Acapulco,  May  9.  1540,  up  the  Gulf  of  Cal- 
ifornia. His  object  was  to  co-operate  with  the 
expedition  of  Coronado.  Coronado,  with  an 
army  of  four  hundred  men,  had  marched  from 
Culiacan.  April  22,  1540.  to  conquer  the  seven 
cities  of  Cibola.  In  the  early  part  of  1537  Al- 
varo  Nunez  Cabaza  de  Vaca  and  three  compan- 
ions 1  the  only  survivors  of  six  hundred  men  that 
Panfilo  de  Narvaes,  ten  years  before,  had  landed 
in  Florida  for  the  conquest  of  that  province) 
after  almost  incredible  sufferings  and  hardships 
arrived  in  Culiacan  on  the  Pacific  coast.  On 
their  long  journey  passing  from  one  Indian  tribe 
to  another  they  had  seen  many  wondrous  things 
and  had  heard  of  many  more.  Among  others 
they  had  been  told  of  seven  great  cities  in  a 
country  called  Cibola  that  were  rich  in  gold  and 
silver  and   precious   stones. 

\  Franciscan  friar,  Marcos  de  Niza,  having 
heard  their  wonderful  stories  determined  to  find 
the  seven  cities.  Securing  the  service  of 
Estevanico,  a  negro  slave,  who  was  one  of  Ca- 
beza  de  Vaca's  party,  he  sel  out  in  quest  of  the 
cities.     With   a  number  of   Indian  porters  and 


Estevanico  as  a  guide,  he  traveled  northward 
a  hundred  leagues  when  he  came  to  a  desert 
that  took  four  days  to  cross.  Beyond  this  he 
found  natives  who  told  him  of  people  four  days 
further  away  who  had  gold  in  abundance.  He 
sent  the  negro  to  investigate  and  that  individual 
sent  back  word  that  Cibola  was  yet  thirty  days' 
journey  to  the  northward.  Following  the  trail 
of  his  guide,  Xiza  travelled  for  two  weeks  cross- 
ing several  deserts.  The  stories  of  the  magnifi- 
cence of  the  seven  cities  increased  with  every 
tribe  of  Indians  through  whose  country  he 
passed.  At  length,  when  almost  to  the  prom- 
ised land,  a  messenger  brought  the  sad  tidings 
that  Estevanico  had  been  put  to  death  with  all 
of  his  companions  but  two  by  the  inhabitants  of 
Cibola.  To  go  forward  meant  death  to  the 
monk  and  all  his  party,  but  before  turning  back 
he  climbed  a  high  mountain  and  looked  down 
upon  the  seven  cities  with  their  high  houses  and 
teeming  populations  thronging  their  streets. 
Then  he  returned  to  Culiacan  to  tell  his  wonder- 
ful stories.  His  tales  fired  the  ambition  and 
stimulated  the  avarice  of  a  horde  of  adventurers. 
At  the  head  of  four  hundred  of  these  Coronado 
penetrated  the  wilds  of  Pimeria  (now  Arizona). 
He  found  seven  Indian  towns  but  no  lofty 
houses,  no  great  cities,  no  gold  or  silver.  Cibola 
was  a  myth.  Hearing  of  a  country  called  Ouivira 
far  to  the  north,  richer  than  Cibola,  with  part  of 
his  force  he  set  out  to  find  it.  In  his  search  he 
penetrated  inland  as  far  as  the  plains  of  Kansas, 
but  Ouivira  proved  to  be  as  poor  as  Cibola,  and 
Coronado  returned  disgusted.  The  Friar  tie 
Niza  had  evidently  drawn  on  his  imagination 
which  seemed  to  lie  quite  rich  in  cities. 

Alarcon  reached  the  head  of  the  Gulf  of  Cal- 
ifornia.  Seeing  wdiat  he  supposed  to  be  an  in- 
let, but  the  water  proving  too  shallow  for  his 
>hips  to  enter  it.  he  manned  two  boats  and 
found  his  supposed  inlet  to  be  the  mouth  of  a 
great  river.  He  named  it  Buena  Guia  (Good 
Guide)  now  the  Colorado.  He  sailed  up  it  some 
distance  and  was  probably  the  first  white  man  to 

1  Fool  upon  the  soil  of  Upper  California.  He 
heard  of  Coronado  in  the  interior  but  was  unable 
to  establish  communication  with  him.  He  de- 
scended the  river  in  his  boats,  embarked  on  his 
vessels  and   returned  to  Mexico.     The  Yicerov 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


Mendoza,  who  had  fitted  out  the  expedition  of 
Alarcon,  was  bitterly  disappointed  on  the  re- 
turn of  that  explorer.  He  had  hoped  to  find  the 
ships  loaded  with  the  spoils  of  the  seven  cities. 


The  report  of  the  discovery  of  a  great  river  did 
not  interest  his  sordid  soul.  Alarcon  found  him- 
self a  disgraced  man.  He  retired  to  private  life 
and  not  long  after  died  a  broken  hearted  man. 


CHAPTER   II. 


ALTA    OR    NUEVA    CALIFORNIA, 


WHILE  Coronado  was  still  wandering 
in  the  interior  of  the  continent  search- 
ing for  Quivira  and  its  king,  Tatar- 
rax,  who  wore  a  long  beard,  adored  a  gol- 
den cross  and  worshipped  an  image  of  the 
queen  of  heaven,  Pedro  de  Alvarado,  one  of 
Cortes'  former  lieutenants,  arrived  from  Guate- 
mala, of  which  country  he  was  governor,  with  a 
fleet  of  twelve  ships.  These  were  anchored  in 
the  harbor  of  Navidad.  Mendoza,  the  viceroy, 
had  been  intriguing  with  Alvarado  against 
Cortes;  obtaining  an  interest  in  the  fleet,  he 
and  Alvarado  began  preparations  for  an  ex- 
tensive scheme  of  exploration  and  conquest.  Be- 
fore they  had  perfected  their  plans  an  insurrec- 
tion broke  out  among  the  Indians  of  Jalisco,  and 
Pedro  de  Alvarado  in  attempting"  to  quell  it 
was  killed.  Mendoza  fell  heir  to  the  fleet.  The 
return  of  Coronado  about  this  time  dispelled  the 
popular  beliefs  in  Cibola  and  Quivira  and  put 
an  end  to  further  explorations  of  the  inland  re- 
gions of  the  northwest. 

It  became  necessary  for  Mendoza  to  find 
something  for  his  fleet  to  do.  The  Islas  de 
Poiniente,  or  Isles  of  the  Setting  Sun  (now  the 
Philippines),  had  been  discovered  by  Magellan. 
To  these  Mendoza  dispatched  five  ships  of  the 
fleet  under  command  of  Lopez  de  Yillalobos  to 
establish  trade  with  the  natives.  Two  ships  of 
the  fleet,  the  San  Salvador  and  the  Yitoria,  were 
placed  under  the  command  of  Juan  Rodriguez 
Cabrillo,  reputed  to  be  a  Portuguese  by  birth  and 
dispatched  to  explore  the  northwest  coasl  of 
the  Pacific.  Cabrillo  sailed  from  Navidad,  June 
27,  1542.  Rounding  the  southern  extremity  of 
the  peninsula  of  Lower  California,  he  sailed  up 
its  outer  coast.  August  20  he  reached  Cabo  d<  I 
Engano,  the  most  northerly  point  of  CJlloa's  ex 
proration.     On  the  28th  df  September,  1542.  he 


entered  a  bay  which  he  named  San  Miguel  (now 
San  Diego),  where  he  found  "a  land  locked  and 
very  good  harbor."  lie  remained  in  this  harbor 
until  October  3.  Continuing  his  voyage  he  sailed 
.along  the  coast  eighteen  leagues,  discovering 
two  islands  about  seven  leagues  from  the  main 
land.  These  he  named  San  Salvador  and  Yitoria 
after  his  ships  (now  Santa  Catalina  and  San 
Clemente).  On  the  8th  of  October  he  crossed 
the  channel  between  the  islands  and  main  land 
and  anchored  in  a  bay  which  he  named  Bahia 
de  los  Fumos  y  Fuegos,  the  Bay  of  Smokes  and 
Fires  (now  known  as  the  Bay  of  San  Pedro). 
Heavy  clouds  of  smoke  hung  over  the  head- 
lands of  the  coast;  and  inland,  fierce  fires  were 
raging.  The  Indians  either  through  accident 
or  design  had  set  fire  to  the  long  dry  grass  that 
covered  the  plains  at  this  season  of  the  year. 

After  sailing  six  leagues  further  up  the  coast 
he  anchored  in  a  large  ensenada  or  bight,  now 
the   Bay   of    Santa     Monica.      It     i-    uncertain 
whether   he  landed   at    either   place.      The   next 
day  he  sailed  eight  leagues   to  an    Indian  town 
which  he  named  the  Pueblo  de  las  Canoa 
town  of  Canoes).    This  town  was  located  on  or 
near    the    present    site    of    San    Buenaventura. 
Sailing  northwestward  he  passed    through  the 
Santa  Barbara' Channel,  discoverin 
of  Santa   Cruz,   Santa    Rosa    and    San    s 
Continuing  up  the  coast  lie  passed  a  long  nar- 
row point  of  land  extending  into  the  sea,  which 
from  its  resemblance  to  a  galley  beat  lie  named 
Cabo  de  la  Galera,  the  Cape  of  ili'-  Gallei 
called     Point    <  Baffled    by    head 

winds,  the  explorers  slowl)  beat  their  way  up 
the  coast.    On  the  17th  of  November,  tin 

.    which  the) 
J,    i,.     I'm..  ,  tl      Bay  of  Pirn      1  th     Ba 

Finding  it  impos  ibl<   to  laud  on 


:;s 


HISTORICAL    AXD    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


account  of  the  heavj  sea  Cabrillo  continued  hi-- 
northward.  Alter  reaching  a  point  on 
the  coast  in  40  degrees  north  latitude,  accord- 
ing to  his  reckoning,  the  increasing  cold  and 
the  storms  becoming  more  frequent,  he  turned 
back  and  ran  down  the  coast  to  the  island  of 
San  Miguel,  which  he  reached  November  23. 
Here  he  decided  to  winter. 

While  on  the  island  in  October,  he  had  broken 
his  arm  by  a  fall.  Suffering  from  his  broken 
arm  he  had  continued  in  command.  Exposure 
and  unskilful  -urger\  caused  his  death.  He 
died  January  3.  1543,  ami  was  buried  on  the 
island.  His  last  resting  place  is  supposed  to 
be  on  the  shore  of  Curler's  harbor,  on  the» 
island  of  San  Miguel.  Xo  trace  of  his  grave 
has  ever  been  found.  His  companions  named 
the  island  Juan  Rodriguez,  but  he  has  been 
rubbed  of  even  this  slight  tribute  to  his  mem- 
ory. It  would  be  a  slight  token  of  regard  if 
the  state  would  name  the  island  Cabrillo.  Saint 
Miguel  has  been  well  remembered  in  California 
and  could  spare  an  island. 

I  abrillo  on  his  death  bed  urged  Iris  successor 
in  command,  the  pilot  Bartolome  Ferrolo,  to 
continue  the  exploration.  Ferrolo  prosecuted 
the  voyage  of  discovery  with  a  courage  and  dar- 
ing equal  to  that  of  Cabrillo.  About  the  middle 
of  February  he  left  the  harbor  where  he  had 
spent  most  of  the  winter  and  after  having  made 
a  short  voyage  in  search  of  more  islands  he 
-ailed  up  the  coast.  February  28,  he  discover  d 
a  cape  which  lie  named  Mendocino  in  honor  of 
the  viceroy,  a  name  it  -till  bears.  Passing  the 
cape  he  encountered  a  fierce  storm  which  drove 
him  violently  to  the  northeast,  greatl)  endanger- 
ing his  ships.  On  March  ist,  the  fog  partially 
lifting,  he  discovered  a  cape  which  he  named 
Blanco,  in  the  southern  part  of  what  i-  now  the 
-tat'  of  <  iregon.  The  weather  continuing  stormj 
and  the  he  sailed  northward, 

1  .-nolo  reluctantly  turned  back.  Running 
down   thi  reached  the   island   of  San 

nte.      There    in    a    storm    the    ships    parted 

company  and   Ferrolo,   after  a   search,  gave  up 

the  \ 'itoria  as  lost.      The  ships,  however,  came 

.md     from    there,    in 

for     provisions,     the     explorers 

:   Xavidad  April   IS,  1543.     Oil  the  discov- 


eries made  by  Cabrillo  and  Ferrolo  the  Span- 
iards claimed  the  territory  on  the  Pacific  coast 
of  North  America  up  to  the  forty-second  degree 
of  north  latitude,  a  claim  that  they  maintained 
for  three  hundred  years. 

The  next  navigator  who  visited  California  was 
Francis  Drake,  an  Englishman.  He  was  not 
seeking  new  lands,  but  a  way  to  escape  the 
\engeance  of  the  Spaniard.-.  Francis  Drake, 
the  "Sea  King  of  Devon,"  was  one  of  the  brav- 
est men  that  ever  lived.  Early  in  his  maritime 
life  he  had  suffered  from  the  cruelty  and  injus- 
tice of  the  Spaniards.  Throughout  his  subse- 
quent career,  which  reads  more  like  romance 
than  reality,  he  let  no  opportunity  slip  to  pun- 
ish his  old-time  enemies.  It  mattered  little  to 
Drake  whether  his  country  was  at  peace  or  war 
with  Spain;  he  considered  a  Spanish  ship  or  a 
Spanish  town  his  legitimate  prey.  On  one  of 
his  predatory  expeditions  he  captured  a  Spanish 
town  on  the  isthmus  of  Panama  named  El  Xom- 
bre  de  Dios,  The  Name  of  God.  Its  holy  name 
did  not  protect  it  from  Drake's  rapacity.  While 
on  the  isthmus  he  obtained  information  of  the 
Spanish  settlement.-  of  the  South  Pacific  and 
from  a  high  point  of  land  saw  the  South  sea,  as 
the  Pacific  ocean  was  then  called.  On  his  re- 
turn to  England  he  announced  his  intention  of 
fitting  out  a  privateering  expedition  against  the 
Spaniards  of  the  South  Pacific.  Although  Spain 
and  England  were  at  peace,  he  received  encour- 
agement from  the  nobility,  even  Queen  Eliza- 
beth herself  secretly  contributing  a  thousand 
crown  towards  the  venture. 

Drake  sailed  out  of  Plymouth  harbor,  Eng- 
land, December  13,  1577.  in  command  of  a  licet 
of  live  small  vessels,  bound  for  the  Pacific  coasl 
of  South  America.  Some  of  his'  vessel-  were 
lost  at  sea  and  others  turned  back,  until  when 
fn  emerged  from  the  Strait-  of  .Magellan  he  had 
but  one  left,  the  Pelican,  lie  changed  its  name 
to  the  Golden  Hind.  It  was  a  ship  of  only  one 
hundred  ton.-'  burden.  Sailing  up  the  South 
Pacific  coast,  he  spread  terror  and  devastation 
the  Spanish  settlements,  robbing  towns 
and  capturing  ships  until,  in  the  quainl  language 
of  a  chronicler  of  the  expedition,  he  "had  loaded 
hi-  \es-el  with  a  fabulous  amount  of  title  wares 
ol     Asia,    precious    stones,    church    ornaments, 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL    RECORD. 


39 


gold  plate  and  so  mooch  silver  as  did  ballas  the 
Goulden  Hinde." 

From  one  treasure  ship,  the  Caca  Fuego,  he 
obtained  thirteen  chests  of  silver,  eighty  pounds 
weight  of  gold,  twenty-six  tons  of  uncoined  sil- 
ver, two  silver  drinking  vessels,  precious  stones 
and  a  quantity  of  jewels;  the  total  value  of  his 
prize  amounted  to  three  hundred  ami  sixty 
thousand  pesos  (dollars).  Having  spoiled  the 
Spaniards  of  treasure  amounting  to  "eight  hun- 
dred si.xty-six  thousand  pesos  of  silver  * 
a  hundred  thousand  pesos  of  gold  *  *  * 
and  other  things  of  great  worth,  he  thought  it 
not  good  to  return  by  the  streight  (Magellan) 
*  *  *  least  the  Spaniards  should  there  waite 
and  attend  for  him  in  great  numbers  and 
strength,  whose  hands,  he  being  left  but  one 
ship,  he  could  not  possibly  escape." 

Surfeited  with  spoils  and  his  ship  loaded  with 
plunder,  it  became  necessary  for  him  to  find  the 
shortest  and  safest  route  home.  To  return  by 
the  way  he  came  was  to  invite  certain  destruc- 
tion to  his  ship  and  death  to  all  on  board.  At 
an  island  off  the  coast  of  Nicaragua  he  over- 
hauled and  refitted  his  ship.  He  determined  to 
seek  the  Straits  of  Anian  that  were  believed  to 
connect  the  Atlantic  and  Pacific  oceans.  Strik- 
ing boldly  out  on  an  unknown  sea,  he  sailed 
more  than  a  thousand  leagues  northward.  En- 
countering contrary  winds  and  the  cold  in- 
creasing as  he  advanced,  he  gave  up  his  search 
for  the  mythical  straits,  and,  turning,  he  ran 
down  the  northwest  coast  of  North  America  to 
latitude  38°,  where  "hce  found  a  harborrow  for 
his  ship."  He  anchored  in  it  June  17,  1579. 
This  "convenient  and  fit  harborrow"  is  under 
the  lee  of  Point  Reyes  and  is  now  known  as 
Sir  Francis  Drake's  Bay. 

Fletcher,  the  chronicler  of  Drake's  voyage,  in 
his  narrative,  "The  World  Encompassed,"  says: 
"The  3rd  day  following,  viz.,  the  21st,  our  ship 
having  received  a  leake  at  sea  was  brought  to 
anchor  neerer  the  shoare  that  her  goods  being 
landed  she  might  be  repaired;  but  for  that  we 
were  to  prevent  any  danger  that  might  chance 
against  our  safety  our  Generall  first  of  all 
landed  his  men  with  necessary  provision  to  build 
tents  and  make  a  fort  for  defense  of  ourselves 
and  goods;    and  that  we  might  under  the  shel- 


ter of  it  with   more  safety  (whatsoever  should 
befall)  end  our  business." 

The  ship  was  drawn  upon  the  beach,  careened 
on  its  .side,  caulked  and  refitted.  While  the 
crew  were  repairing  the  ship  the  natives  visited 
them  in  great  numbers.  From  some  of  their  ac- 
tions Drake  inferred  that  they  regarded  himself 
and  his  men  as  gods.  To  disabuse  them  of  this 
idea,  Drake  ordered  his  chaplain,  Fletcher,  to 
perform  divine  service  according  to  the  English 
Church  Ritual  and  preach  a  sermon.  The  In- 
dians were  greatly  delighted  with  the  psalm 
singing,  but  their  opinion  of  Fletcher's  sermon 
is  not  known. 

From  certain  ceremonial  performance  Drake 
imagined  that  the  Indians  were  offering  him  the 
sovereignty  of  their  land  and  themselves  as  sub- 
jects of  the  English  crown.  Drake  gladly  ac- 
cepted their  proffered  allegiance  and  formally 
took  possession  of  the  country  in  the  name  of 
the  English  sovereign,  Queen  Elizabeth.  He 
named  it  Xew  Albion,  "for  two  causes:  the  one 
in  respect  of  the  while  bankes  and  cliffes  which 
ly  towardes  the  sea:  and  the  other  because  it 
might  have  some  affinitie  with  our  own  country 
in  name  which  sometimes  was  so  called." 

Having  completed  the  repairs  to  his  ship. 
Drake  made  ready  to  depart,  but  before  leav- 
ing "Our  Generall  with  his  company  made  a 
journey  up  into  the  land.  The  inland  we  found 
to  be  farre  different  from  the  shoare;  a  goodly 
country  and  fruitful  soyle,  stored  with  many 
blessings  fit  for  the  use  of  man;  infinite  was  the 
company  of  very  large  and  fat  deere  which 
there  we  saw  by  thousands  as  we  supposed  in  a 
heard."*  They  saw  great  numbers  of  small  bur- 
rowing animals,  which  they  called  conies,  but 
which  were  probably  ground  squirrels.  Before 
departing.  Drake  set  up  a  monument  to  shov 
thathe  had  taken  possession  of  the  country.  To  a 
large  post  firml)  sel  in  the  ground  he  nailed  a 
brass  plate  on  which  was  engraved  the  nai 
the  English  Queen, the  date  of  his  arrival  and  the 
statement  thai  the  king  and  p<  1  iple  1  if  thi 
try  had  voluntarily  b&  of  the  Eng- 

lish crown;   a  new  sixpence  was  fastened  to  the 
plate  ti  1  shi  -.',   thi    <  )u  en's  likeness. 

World  i 


10 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


After  a  sta\  oi  thirty-six  days,  Drake  took 
his  departure,  much  to  the  regret  of  the  Indians. 
He  stopped  at  the  Farallones  islands  for  a  short 
time  to  lay  in  a  supply  of  seal  meat;  then  he 
sailed  for  England  by  the  v.a\  of  the  Cape  of 
Good  Hope.  After  encountering  many  perils, 
he  arrived  safely  at  Plymouth,  the  port  from 
which  he  sailed  nearly  three  years  before,  hav- 
ing "encompassed"  or  circumnavigated  the 
globe.  His  exploits  and  the  booty  he  brought 
back  made  him  the  most  famous  naval  hero  of 
his  time.  He  was  knighted  by  Queen  Elizabeth 
and  accorded  extraordinary  honors  by  the  na- 
tion. He  believed  himself  to  be  the  first  dis- 
coverer of  the  country  he  called  New  Albion. 
"The  Spaniards  never  had  any  dealings  or  so 
much  as  set  foote  in  this  country;  tire  utmost 
of  their  discoveries  reaching  only  to  many  de- 
grees southward  of  this  place."*  The  English 
founded  no  claim  on  Drake's  discoveries.  The 
land  hunger  that  characterizes  that  nation  now 
had  not  then  been  developed. 

Fifty  years  passed  after  Cabrillo's  visit  to  Cal- 
ifornia before  another  attempt  was  made  by  the 
Spaniards  to  explore  her  coast.  Through  all 
these  years  on  their  return  voyage  far  out  be- 
yond the  islands  the  Manila  galleons,  freighted 
with  the  wealth  of  "Ormus  and  Ind,"  sailed 
down  the  coast  of  Las  Californias  from  Cape 
Mendocino  to  Acapulco.  Often  storm-tossed 
mil  always  scourged  with  that  dread  malady  of 
the  sea,  the  scurvy,  there  was  no  harbor  of  ref- 
uge lor  them  to  put  into  because  his  most  Cath- 
olic Majesty,  the  King  of  Spain,  had  no  money 
to  spend  in  exploring  an  unknown  coast  where 
there  was  no  return  to  be  expected  except  per- 
haps the  saving  of  a  few  sailors'  lives. 

In  1593,  the  question  of  a  survey  of  the  <  'ali 
fornia  coast  for  harbors  to  accommodate  the  in- 
creasing Philippine  trade  was  agitated  and  Don 
Luis  de  Vela  mo,  yiceroj  oi  New  Spain,  in  a  let- 
ter dati  d  at  Mexico,  April  8,  [593,  thus  «r  tes  to 
hi-  majest)  :  "In  order  to  make  the  exploration 
or  demarcation  of  the  harbors  of  this  m 
far  as  the  Philippine  islands,  as  your  majesty 
■  rdei  ,  money  is  lacking,  and  if  it  be  not  taken 
from  the  royal  strong  box  it  cannot  be  supplied, 

A  1  irld   Kncompassed. 


as  for  some  time  past  a  great  deal  of  money  has 
been  owing  to  the  royal  treasury  on  account 
oi  fines  forfeited  to  it,  legal  cost  and  the  like." 
Don  Luis  fortunately  discovers  a  way  to  save 
the  contents  of  the  royal  strong  box  and  hastens 
10  acquaint  his  majesty  with  his  plan.  In  a  let- 
ter written  to  the  king  from  the  City  of  Mexico, 
April  6,  1594,  he  says:  "I  ordered  the  navigator 
who  at  present  sails  in  the  flag  ship,  who  is 
named  Sebastian  Rodriguez  Cermeno,  and  who 
is  a  man  of  experience  in  his  calling,  one  who 
can  be  depended  upon  and  who  has  means  of 
his  own,  although  he  is  a  Portuguese,  there 
being  no  Spaniards  of  his  profession  whose  serv- 
ices are  available,  that  he  should  make  the  ex- 
ploration and  demarcation,  and  I  offered,  if  he 
would  do  this,  to  give  him  his  remuneration  in 
the  way  of  taking  on  board  merchandise;  and 
I  wrote  to  the  governor  (of  the  Philippines) 
that  he  should  allow  him  to  put  on  board  the 
ship  some  tons  of  cloth  that  he  might  have  the 
benefit  of  the  freight-money."  The  result  of 
Don  Luis's  economy  and  the  outcome  of  at- 
tempting to  explore  an  unknown  coast  in  a 
hcavil)  iaden  merchant  ship  are  given  in  a  para- 
graph taken  from  a  letter  written  by  a  royal  offi- 
cer from  Acapulco,  February  1,  1596,  to  the 
viceroy  Conde  de  Monterey,  the  successor  of 
Yelasco:  "On  Wednesday,  the  31st  of  January 
of  this  year,  there  entered  this  harbor  a  vessel 
of  the  kind  called  in  the  Philippines  a  viroco, 
having  on  board  Juan  de  Morgana,  navigating 
officer,  four  Spanish  sailors,  five  Indians  and  a 
negro,  who  brought  tidings  that  the  ship  San 
Agustin,  of  the  exploring  expedition,  had  been 
lost  on  a  coast  where  she  struck  and  went  to 
pieces,  ami  that  a  barefooted  friar  and  another 
person  of  those  on  board  had  been  drowned  and 
that  the  seventy  men  or  more  who  embarked  in 
this  small  vessel  only  these  came  in  her,  be- 
cause tlte  captain  of  said  ship,  Sebastian  Rodri- 
guez Cermeno,  and  the  others  went  ashore  at 
the  port  of  Xavidad,  and,  as  they  understand, 
have  already  arrived  111  that  city  (Mexico).  An 
accounl  oi  the  voyage  and  of  the  loss  of  the 
ship,  together  with  the  statement  made  under 
oath  by  said  navigating  officer,  Juan  de  Mor- 
gana, accompany  this.  We  visited  officially  the 
vessel,  finding  110  kind  of  merchandise  on  hoard. 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL    RECORD. 


II 


and  that  the  men  were  almost  naked.  The  ves- 
sel being  so  small  it  seems  miraculous  that  she 
should  have  reached  this  country  with  so  many 
people  on  board."  A  viroco  was  a  small  vessel 
without  a  deck,  having  one  or  two  square  sails, 
and  propelled  by  sweeps.  Its  hull  was  formed 
from  a  single  tree,  hollowed  out  and  having  the 
sides  built  up  with  planks.  The  San  Agustin 
was  wrecked  in  what  is  now  called  Francis 
Drake's  Bay,  about  thirty  miles  north  of  San 
Francisco.  To  make  a  voyage  from  there  to 
Acapulco  in  such  a  vessel,  with  seventy  men  on 
board,  and  live  to  tell  the  tale,  was  an  exploit 
that  exceeded  the  most  hazardous  undertakings 
of  the  Argonauts  of  '49. 

The  viceroy,  Conde  de  Monte  Rey,  in  a  let- 
ter dated  at  Mexico,  April  19,  1596,  gives  the 
king  tidings  of  the  loss  of  the  San  Agustin.  He 
writes:  ''Touching  the  loss  of  the  ship,  San 
Agustin,  which  was  on  its  way  from  the  islands 
of  the  west  (the  Philippines)  for  the  purpose  of 
making  the  exploration  of  the  coast  of  the  South 
Sea,  in  accordance  with  your  Majesty's  orders 
to  Viceroy,  Don  Luis  de  Yelasco,  I  wrote  to 
Your  Majesty  by  the  second  packet  (mailship) 
what  I  send  as  duplicate  with  this."  He  then 
goes  on  to  tell  how  he  had  examined  the  offi- 
cers in  regard  to  the  loss  of  the  vessel  and  that 
they  tried  to  inculpate  one  another.  The  navi- 
gating officer  even  in  the  viroco  tried  to  ex- 
plore the  principal  bays  which  they  crossed,  but 
on  account  of  the  hunger  and  illness  they  expe- 
rienced he  was  compelled  to  hasten  the  voyage. 
The  viceroy  concludes:  "Thus  I  take  it,  as  to 
this  exploration  the  intention  of  Your  Majesty 
has  not  been  carried  into  effect.  It  is  the  gen- 
eral opinion  that  this  enterprise  should  not  be 
attempted  on  the  return  voyage  from  the  islands 
and  with  a  laden  ship,  but  from  this  coast  and 
by  constantly  following  along  it."  The  above 
account  of  the  loss  of  the  San  Agustin  is  taken 
from  Volume  II,  Publications  of  the  Historical 
Society  of  Southern  California,  ami  is  the  only 
correct  account  published.  In  September,  1595, 
just  before  the  viceroy.  Don  Luis  de  Velasco, 
was  superseded  by  Conde  de  Monte  Rey,  he 
entered  into  a  contract  with  certain  parties  of 
whom  Sebastian  Viscaino,  a  ship  captain,  was 
the  principal,  to  make  an  expedition  up  the  Gulf 


of  California  "for  the  purpose  of  fishing  for 
pearls."  There  was  also  a  provision  in  the  con- 
tract empowering  Viscaino  to  make  explorations 
and  take  possession  of  his  discoveries  for  the 
crown  of  Spain.  The  Conde  de  Monte  Rey 
seems,  from  a  letter  written  to  the  King,  to  have 
seriously  doubted  whether  Viscaino  was  the 
right  man  for  so  important  an  expedition,  but 
finally  allowed  him  to  depart.  In  September, 
1596,  Viscaino  sailed  up  the  gulf  with  a  fleet  of 
three  vessels,  the  flag  ship  San  Francisco,  the 
San  Jose  and  a  Lancha.  The  flag  ship  was  dis- 
abled and  left  at  La  Paz.  With  the  other  two 
vessels  he  sailed  up  the  gulf  to  latitude  29°.  He 
encountered  severe  storms.  At  some  island  he 
had  trouble  with  the  Indians  and  killed  several. 
As  the  long  boat  was  departing  an  Indian 
wounded  one  of  the  rowers  with  an  arrow.  The 
sailor  dropped  his  oar,  the  boat  careened  and 
upset,  drowning  twenty  of  the  twenty-six  sol- 
diers and  sailors  in  it. 

Viscaino  returned  without  having  procured 
any  pearls  or  made  any  important  discoveries. 
He  proposed  to  continue  his  explorations  of  the 
Californias,  but  on  account  of  his  misfortunes 
his  request  was  held  in  abeyance.  He  wrote  a 
letter  to  the  king  in  1 597,  setting  forth  what 
supplies  he  required  for  the  voyage.  His  in- 
ventory of  the  items  needed  is  interesting,  but 
altogether  too  long  for  insertion  here.  Among 
the  items  were  "$35,000  in  money";  "eighty  ar- 
robas  of  powder":  "twenty  quintals  of  lead"; 
"four  pipes  of  wine  for  mass  and' sick  friars"; 
"vestments  for  the  clergy  and  $2,000  to  be  in- 
vested in  trifles  for  the  Indians  for  the  purpose 
of  attracting  them  peaceably  to  receive  the  holy 
gospel."  Viscaino's  request  was  not  granted  at 
that  time.  The  viceroy  and  the  royal  audiencia 
at  one  time  ordered  his  commission  revoked. 
Philip  II  died  in  1598  and  was  succeeded  by 
Philip  III.  After  five  years'  waiting,  Yiscaino 
was  allowed  to  proceed  with  his  explorations. 
From  Acapulco  on  the  5th  of  May.  1602,  he 
writes  to  the  king  that  he  is  ready  to  sail  with 
his  ships  "for  the  discovery  of  harbors  and  bays 
of  the  coast  of  the  South  Sea  as  far  as  Cape 
Mendocino."  "I  report,"  lie  says,  "merely  that 
the  said  VicerO)  (Conde  de  Monterey)  has  en- 
trusted to  me  the  accomplishment  of  the  same 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


in  two  ships,  a  lancha  and  a  barcoluengo, 
manned  with  sailors  and  soldiers  and  provi- 
sioned for  eleven  months.  To-day  being  Sun- 
day, the  5th  of  May,  I  sail  at  five  o'clock  m  the 
nanus  of  God  and  his  blessed  mother  and  your 
majesty." 

\  iscaino  followed  the  same  course  marked 
out  by  Cabrillo  sixty  years  before.  November 
10,  1602,  he  anchored  in  Cabrillo's  Bay  of  San 
Miguel.  Whether  the  faulty  reckoning  of  Ca- 
brillo left  him  in  doubt  of  the  points  named  by 
the  first  discoverer,  or  whether  it  was  that  he 
might  receive  the  credit  of  their  discovery,  Vis- 
caino  changed  the  names  given  by  Cabrillo  to 
the  islands,  bays  and  headlands  along  the  Cali- 
fornia coast.  Cabrillo's  Bahia  San  Miguel  be- 
came the  Bay  of  San  Diego;  San  Salvador  and 
Yitoria  were  changed  to  Santa  Catalina  and 
San  Clemente,  and  Cabrillo's  Bahia  de  los 
Fumos  y  Fuegos  appears  on  Yiscaino's  map  as 
the  Ensenada  de  San  Andres,  but  in  a  descrip- 
tion of  the  voyage  compiled  by  the  cosmog- 
rapher,  Cabrero  Bueno,  it  is  named  San  Pedro. 
It  is  not  named  for  the  Apostle  St.  Peter,  but 
for  St.  reter,  Bishop  of  Alexandria,  whose  day 
in  the  Catholic  calendar  i.s  November  26,  the 
day  (jf  the  month  Viscaino  anchored  in  the  Bay 
of  San  Pedro. 

Sailing  up  the  coast,  Viscaino  passed  through 
the  Santa  Barbara  channel,  which  was  so  named 
by  Antonio  de  la  Ascencion,  a  Carmelite  friar, 
who  was  chaplain  of  one  of  the  ships.  The  ex- 
pedition entered  the  channel  December  4,  which 
is  the  day  in  the  Catholic  calendar  dedicated  to 
Santa  Barbara.  lie  visited  the  mainland  near 
Point  Concepcion  where  the  Indian  chief  of  a 
populous  rancheria  offered  each  Spaniard  who 
would  become  .1  resident  of  his  town  ten  wives. 
This  generous  offer  was  rejected.  December 
15,  1602,  In  reached  Point  Pinos,  so  named  1,\ 
Cabrillo,  and  cast  anchor  in  the  ba\  formed  by 
its  projection.  This  bay  he  named  Monterey, 
in  honoi  eroy,  Conde  de   Monte   Rev. 

Many  if  his  men  were  sick  with  the  scurw  and 
his  provisions  were  becoming  exhausted;  so, 
placing  the  sick  and  disabled  on  the  San  Tomas, 
he  sent  them  b  ilco;  but  few  .if  them 

1  a<  hed  th<  ii  di  itination.  On  the  3d  of 
January,  1603,  with  two  ships,  he  proceeded  on 


his  search  for  Cape  Mendocino,  the  northern 
limit  of  his  survey.  The  Manila  galleons  on 
their  return  voyage  from  the  Philippines  sailed 
up  the  Asiatic  coast  to  the  latitude  of  Japan, 
when,  taking  advantage  of  the  westerly  winds 
and  the  Japan  current,  they  crossed  the  Pacific, 
striking  the  North  American  coast  in  about  the 
latitude  of  Cape  Mendocino,  and  from  there 
they  ran  down  the  coast  of  Las  Californias  and 
across  the  gulf  to  Acapulco.  After  leaving 
Point  Reyes  a  storm  separated  his  ships  and 
drove  him  as  far  north  as  Cape  Blanco.  The 
smaller  vessel,  commanded  by  Martin  de  Agui- 
lar,  was  driven  north  by  the  storm  to  latitude 
430,  where  he  discovered  what  seemed  to  be 
the  mouth  of  a  great  river;  attempting  to  enter 
it,  he  wras  driven  back  by  the  swift  current. 
Aguilar.  believing  he  had  discovered  the  western 
entrance  of  the  Straits  of  Anian,  sailed  for 
New  Spain  to  report  his  discovery.  He,  his 
chief  pilot  and  most  of  his  crew  died  of  scurvy 
before  the  vessel  reached  Navidad.  Viscaino, 
after  sighting  Cape  Blanco,  turned  and  sailed 
down  the  coast  of  California,  reaching  Acapulco 
March  21,  1603. 

Viscaino,  in  a  letter  to  the  King  of  Spain, 
dated  at  the  City  of  Mexico,  May  23,  1603, 
grows  enthusiastic  over  California  climate  and 
productions.  It  is  the  earliest  known  specimen 
of  California  boom  literature.  After  depicting 
the  commodiousness  of  Monterey  Bay  as  a  port 
of  safety  for  the  Philippine  ships,  he  says:  "This 
port  is  sheltered  from  all  winds,  while  on  the  im- 
mediate shores  there  arc  pines. from  which  masts 
of  any  desired  size  can  1  e  obtained,  as  well  as 
live  oaks  and  white  oaks,  rosemary,  the  vine,  the 
rose  of  Alexandria,  a  great  variety  of  game,  such 
as  rabbits,  hare,  partridges  and  other  sorts  and 
species  found  in  Spain.  This  land  has  a  genial 
climate,  its  waters  are  good  and  it  is  fertile, 
judging  from  the  varied  and  luxuriant  growth 
■  if  trees  and  plants;  and  it  is  thickly  settled  with 
people  whom  I  found  to  be  of  gentle  disposition, 
peaceable  and  docile.  *  *  *  Their  food  con- 
sists of  seeds  which  they  have  in  great  abun- 
dance and  variety,  and  of  the  flesh  of  game  such 
as  deer,  which  arc  larger  than  cows,  and  hear, 
ind  of  neal  cattle  and  bisons  ami  many  other 
animals.     The  Indians  are  of  good  stature  and 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


13 


fair  complexion,  the  women  being  somewhat 
less  in  size  than  the  men,  and  of  pleasing  counte- 
nance. The  clothing  of  the  people  of  the  coast 
lands  consists  of  the  skins  of  the  sea  wolves 
(otter)  abounding  there,  which  they  tan  and 
dress  better  than  is  done  in  Castile;  they  pos- 
sess also  in  great  quantity  flax  like  that  of  Cas- 
tile, hemp  and  cotton,  from  which  they  make 
fishing  lines  and  nets  for  rabbits  and  hares. 
They  have  vessels  of  pine  wood,  very  well  made, 
in  which  they  go  to  sea  with  fourteen  paddle- 
men  of  a  side,  with  great  dexterity  in  very 
stormy  weather.  *  :;  ;  They  are  well  ac- 
quainted with  gold  and  silver  and  said  that 
these  were  found  in  the  interior." 


The  object  of  Viscaino's  boom  literature  of 
three  hundred  years  ago  was  the  promotion  of  a 
colony  scheme  for  the  founding  of  a  settlement 
on  Monterey  Bay.  He  visited  Spain  to  obtain  the 
consent  of  the  king  and  assistance  in  planting 
a  colony.  After  many  delays,  Philip  III,  in 
1606,  ordered  the  viceroy  of  New  Spain  to  fit 
out  immediately  an  expedition  to  be  com- 
manded by  Viscaino  for  the  occupation  and  set- 
tlement of  the  port  of  Monterey.  Before  the  ex- 
pedition could  be  gotten  ready  Viscaino  died  and 
his  colonization  scheme  died  with  him.  Had  he 
lived  to  carry  out  his  scheme,  the  settlement  of 
California  would  have  antedated  that  of  James- 
town, Ya.,  bv  one  year. 


CHAPTER   III. 


COLONIZATION    OF    ALTA    CALIFORNIA. 


A  HUNDRED  and  sixty  years  passed  after 
the  abandonment  of  Viscaino's  coloniza- 
tion scheme  before  the  Spanish  crown 
made  another  attempt  to  utilize  its  vast  posses- 
sions in  Alta  California.  The  Manila  galleons 
sailed  down  the  coast  year  after  year  for  more 
than  a  century  and  a  half,  yet  in  all  this  long 
space  of  time  none  of  them  so  far  as  we  know 
ever  entered  a  harbor  or  bay  on  the  upper  Cali- 
fornia coast.  Spain  still  held  her  vast  colonial 
possessions  in  America,  but  with  a  loosening 
grasp.  As  the  years  went  by  she  had  fallen 
from  her  high  estate.  Her  power  on  sea  and 
land  had  weakened.  Those  brave  old  sea  kings, 
Drake,  Hawkins  and  Frobisher,  had  destroyed 
her  invincible  Armada  and  burned  her  ships  in 
her  very  harbors.  The  English  and  Dutch  pri- 
vateers had  preyed  upon  her  commerce  on  the 
high  seas  and  the  buccaneers  had  robbed  her 
treasure  ships  and  devastated  her  settlements  on 
the  islands  and  the  Spanish  main,  while  the  free- 
booters of  many  nations  had  time  and  again 
captured  her  galleons  and  ravished  her  colonies 
on  the  Pacific  coast.  The  energy  and  enterprise 
that  had  been  a  marked  characteristic  of  her 
people  in  the  days  of  Cortes  and  Pizarro  were 
ebbing  away.     The  cruelty  and  religious  intol- 


erance of  her  kings,  her  nobles  and  her  clergy, 
had  sapped  the  bravery  of  her  people.  The  fear 
hi  her  Holy  Inquisition  palsied  effort  and  sub- 
stituted in  her  people  cringing  for  courage.  For 
three  centuries  the  rack  and  the  thumb-screw 
of  her  Holy  Office  had  never  been  allowed  to 
rust  from  disuse  nor  its  fires  to  burn  out  for 
want  of  victims.  In  trying  to  kill  heresy  her 
rulers  were  slowly  but  surely  killing  Spain. 
Proscriptive  laws  and  the  fear  of  the  inquisition 
had  driven  into  exile  the  most  enterprising  and 
the  most  intelligent  classes  of  her  people.  Spain 
was  decaying  with  the  dry  rot  of  bigotry.  (  )ther 
nations  stood  ready  to  take  advantage  of  her 
decadence.  Her  old-time  enemy,  England,  which 
had  gained  in  power  as  Spain  had  lost,  was  ever 
on  the  alert  to  take  advantage  of  her  weakness; 
and  another  power,  Russia,  almost  unknown 
among  the  powers  of  Europe  when  Spain  was 
in  her  prime,  was  threatening  her  possessions  in 
Alta  California.  To  hold  this  vast  country  it 
must  be  colonized,  but  her  restrictions  on  com- 
merce and  her  proscriptive  laws  against  foreign 
immigrants  had  shut  the  door  to  her  colonial 
possessions  againsl  colonists  from  all  other  na- 
tion Her  sparse  settlements  in  Mexico  could 
spare  no  colonists.    The  indigenous  inhabitants 


II 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


of  California  must  be  converted  to  Christianity 
and  made  into  citizens.  Poor  material  indeed 
were  these  degraded  savages,  but  Spain's  needs 
were  pressing  and  missionary  zeal  was  powerful. 
Indeed,  the  pristine  courage  and  daring  of  the 
Spanish  soldier  seemed  to  have  passed  to  her 
missionary  priest. 

The  Jesuits  had  begun  missionary  work  in 
160.7  among  the  degraded  inhabitants  of  Lower 
California.  With  a  perseverance  that  was  highly 
commendable  and  a  bravery  that  was  heroic, 
under  their  devoted  leaders,  Salvatierra,  Kino, 
I '-arte.  Piccolo  and  their  successors,  they 
founded  sixteen  missions  on  the  peninsula. 
Father  Kino  (or  Kuhn),  a  German  Jesuit,  be- 
sides his  missionary  work,  between  1694  and 
1702.  iiad  made  explorations  around  the  head 
of  the  Gulf  of  California  and  up  the  Rio  Colo- 
rado to  the  mouth  of  the  Gila,  which  had  clearly 
demonstrated  that  Lower  California  was  a  pen- 
insula and  not  an  island.  Although  Ulloa  had 
sailed  down  the  inner  oast  and  up  the  outer 
coasl  of  Lower  California  and  Domingo  del 
Castillo,  a  Spanish  pilot,  had  made  a  correct 
map  showing  it  to  be  a  peninsula,  so  strong  was 
the  belief  in  the  existence  of  the  Straits  of 
Anian  that  one  hundred  and  sixty  year-  after 
Ulloa's  voyage  Las  Californias  were  still  be- 
lieved to  be  islands  and  were  sometimes  called 
Lslas  Carolinas,  or  the  islands  of  Charles,  named 
so  for  Charles  II.  of  Spain.  Father  Kino  had 
formed  the  design  of  establishing  a  chain  of  mis- 
sions from  Sonora  around  the  head  of  the  gulf 
and  down  the  inner  coast  of  Lower  California  to 
ban  Lucas,  lie  did  not  live  to  complete 
his  ambitious  project.  The  Jesuit  missions  of 
Baja  California  never  grew  rich  in  Hocks  and 
herds.  The  country  was  sterile  and  the  few 
small  valleys  of  fertile  land  around  the  missions 
gave  the  padres  and  the  neophytes  al  best  but  a 
frugal  return  for  their  labors. 

For  years  there  had  hem,  in  the  Catholic 
countries  of  Europe,  a  -rowing  fear  and  dis- 
trust of  the  Jesuits.  Portugal  had  declared  them 
rnment  and  had  banished 
them  in  [759  from  her  dominions.  France  had 
suppn  '  1    in   her  domains   in    1764. 

In  [767,  King  (.ulos  in..  |,x  a  pragmatic  sanc- 
1  red   their   expulsion   from 


Spain  and  all  her  American  colonies.  So  great 
and  powerful  was  the  influence  of  the  order  that 
the  decree  for  their  expulsion  was  kept  secret 
until  the  moment  of  its  execution.  Throughout 
all  parts  of  the  kingdom,  at  a  certain  hour  of 
the  night,  a  summons  came  to  every  college, 
monastery  or  other  establishment  where  mem- 
bers of  the  order  dwelt,  to  assemble  by  com- 
mand of  the  king  in  the  chapel  or  refectory 
immediately.  The  decree  of  perpetual  banish- 
ment was  then  read  to  them.  They  were  hastily 
bundled  into  vehicles  that  were  awaiting  them 
outside  and  hurried  to  the  nearest  seaport, 
where  they  were  shipped  to  Rome.  During 
their  journey  to  the  sea-coast  they  were  not  al- 
lowed to  communicate  with  their  friends  nor 
permitted  to  speak  to  persons  they  met  on  the 
way.  By  order  of  the  king,  any  subject  who 
should  undertake  to  vindicate  the  Jesuits  in  writ- 
ing should  be  deemed  guilty  of  treason  and  con- 
demned to  death. 

The  Lower  California  missions  were  too  dis- 
tant and  too  isolated  to  enforce  the  king's  de- 
cree with  the  same  haste  and  secrecy  that  was 
observed  in  Spain  and  Mexico.  To  Governor 
( iaspar  de  Portola  was  entrusted  the  enforce- 
ment of  their  banishment.  These  missions  were 
transferred  to  the  Franciscans,  but  it  took  time 
to  make  the  substitution.  He  proceeded  with 
great  caution  and  care  lest  the  Indians  should 
become  rebellious  and  demoralized.  It  was  not 
until  February,  1768,  that  all  the  Jesuit  mis- 
sionaries were  assembled  at  La  Paz;  from  there 
they  were  sent  to  Mexico  and  on  the  13th  of 
April,  at  Vera  Cruz,  they  bade  farewell  to  the 
western  continent. 

At  the  head  of  the  Franciscan  contingent  that 
came  to  Bahia,  Cal.,  to  lake  charge  of  the  aban- 
doned missions,  was  Father  Junipero  Scrra,  a 
man  of  indomitable  will  and  great  missionary 
zeal.    Miguel  Jose  Serra  was  horn  on  the  island  of 

Majoriea  in  the  year  1713.  After  completing  his 
studies  in  the  I.ullian  University,  at  the  age  of 
eighteen  he  became  a  monk  and  was  admitted 
into  the  order  of  Franciscans,  (hi  taking  or- 
ders he  assumed  the  name  of  Junipero  (Juniper). 

\.mong  the  disciples  of  St.  Francis  was  a  very 
zealous  and  devoted  monk  who  bore  the  name 
of    Junipero,   of    whom   St.    Francis  once   said, 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL    RECORD. 


"Would  to  God,  my  brothers,  that  I  had  a  whole 
forest  of  such  Junipers."  Serra's  favorite  study 
was  the  "Lives  of  the  Saints,"  and  no  doubt  the 
study  of  the  life  of  the  original  Junipero  influ- 
enced him  to  take  that  saint's  naijie.  Serra's 
ambition  was  to  become  a  missionary,  but  it  was 
not  until  he  was  nearly  forty  years  of  age  that 
his  desire  was  gratified.  In  1740.  he  came  to 
Mexico  and  January  1,  1750,  entered  the  College 
of  San  Fernando.  A  few  months  later  he  was 
given  charge  of  an  Indian  mission  in  the  Sierra 
Gorda  mountains,  where,  with  his  assistant  and 
lifelong  friend,  Father  Palou,  he  remained  nine 
years.  Under  his  instructions  the  Indians  were 
taught  agriculture  and  the  mission  became  a 
model  establishment  of  its  kind.  From  this 
mountain  mission  Serra  returned  to  the  city  of 
Mexico.  He  spent  seven  years  in  doing  mis- 
sionary work  among  the  Spanish  population  of 
the  capital  and  surrounding  country.  His  suc- 
cess as  a  preacher  and  his  great  missionary  zeal 
led  to  his  selection  as  president  of  the  missions 
of  California,  from  which  the  Jesuits  had  been 
removed.  April  2,  1768,  he  arrived  in  the  port  of 
Loreto  with  fifteen  associates  from  the  College 
of  San  Fernando.  These  were  sent  to  the  dif- 
ferent missions  of  the  peninsula.  These  mis- 
sions extended  over  a  territory  seven  hundred 
miles  in  length  and  it  required  several  months 
to  locate  all  the  missionaries.  The  scheme  for 
the  occupation  and  colonization  of  Alta  Cali- 
fornia was  to  be  jointly  the  work  of  church  and 
state.  The  representative  of  the  state  was  Jose 
de  Galvez,  visitador-general  of  Xew  Spain,  a 
man  of  untiring  energy,  great  executive  ability, 
sound  business  sense  and,  as  such  men  are  and 
ought  to  be,  somewhat  arbitrary.  Galvez 
reached  La  Paz  in  July,  1768.  lie  immediately 
set  about  investigating  the  condition  of  the 
peninsula  missions  and  supplying  their  needs. 
This  done,  he  turned  his  attention  to  the  north- 
ern colonization.  He  established  his  headquar- 
ters at  Santa  Ana  near  La  Faz.  Here  he  sum- 
moned Father  Junipero  for  consultation  in 
regard  to  the  founding  of  missions  in  Alta  Cali- 
fornia. It  was  decided  to  proceed  to  the  initial 
points  San  Diego  and  Monterey  by  land  and  sea. 
Three  ships  were  to  be  dispatched  carrying  tin- 
heavier    articles,    such    as    agricultural     imple- 


ments, church  ornaments,  and  a  supply  of  provi- 
sions for  the  support  of  the  soldiers  and  priest 
after  their  arrival  in  California.  The  expedi- 
tion by  land  was  to  take  along  cattle  and 
horses  to  stock  the  country.  This  expedition 
was  divided  into  two  detachments,  the  advance 
one  under  the  command  of  Rivera  y  Moncada, 
who  had  been  a  long  time  in  the  country,  and 
the  second  division  under  Governor  Caspar  de 
Portola,  who  was  a  newcomer.  Captain  Rivera 
was  sent  northward  to  collect  from  the  missions 
ail  the  live  stock  and  supplies  that  could  be 
spared  and  take  them  to  Santa  Maria,  the  most 
northern  mission  of  the  peninsula.  Stores  of 
all  kinds  were  collected  at  La  Faz.  Father 
Serra  made  a  tour  of  the  missions  and  secured 
such  church  furniture,  ornaments  and  vestments 
as  could  be  spared. 

The  first  vessel  fitted  out  for  the  expedition 
by  sea  was  the  San  Cailos,  a  ship  of  about 
two  hundred  tons  burden,  leaky  and  badly  con- 
structed. She  sailed  from  La  Faz  January  <). 
176(1,  under  the  command  of  Vicente  Vila.  In 
addition  to  the  crew  there  were  twenty-five  Cat- 
aionian  soldiers,  commanded  by  Lieutenant 
Fages,  Pedro  Prat,  the  surgeon,  a  Franciscan 
friar,  two  blacksmiths,  a  baker,  a  cook  and  two 
tortilla  makers.  Galvez  in  a  small  vessel  acc<  im- 
panied  the  San  Carlos  to  Cape  San  Lucas,  where 
he  landed  and  set  to  work  to  fit  out  the  San 
Antonio.  On  the  15th  of  February  this  vessel 
sailed  from  San  Jose  del  Cabo  (San  Jose  of  the 
Cape),  under  the  command  of  Juan  Perez,  an 
expert  pilot,  who  had  been  engaged  in  the  Phil- 
ippine trade.  On  this  vessel  went  two  Franciscan 
friars,  Juan  Yiscaino  and  Francisco  Gomez 
Captain  Rivera  y  Moncada,  who  was  to  pioneer 
the  way.  had  collected  supplies  and  cattle  at  Yel- 
icata  on  the  northern  frontier.  From  here,  with 
a  small  force  of  soldiers,  a  gang  of  neophytes 
and  three  muleteers,  and  accompanied  l>\  Padre 
Crespi,  he  began  his  march  to  San  Diego  on  the 
_'4th  of  March,   [769. 

The  second  land  expedition,  commanded  In 
Governor  Caspar  de  Portola  in  person,  began 
its  march  from  Loreto,  March  9,  1701,.  Father 
Sciia,  who  was  to  have  accompanied  it.  was  de- 
tained at  Loreto  b)  a  sore  leg.  He  joined  the 
expedition  at  Santa   Maria.   May  5.  where  it   had 


H; 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


been  waiting  for  him  sonic  time.  It  then  pro- 
ceeded  to  Rivera's  camp  at  Velicata,  sixty  miles 
further  north,  where  Serra  founded  a  mission, 
naming  it  San  Fernando.  Campa  Coy,  a  friar 
who  had  accompanied  the  expedition  tints  far, 
was  left  in  charge.  This  mission  was  intended 
as  a  frontier  post  in  the  travel  between  the  pen- 
insula missions  and  the  Alta  California  settle- 
ments. On  the  15th  of  May  Portola  began  his 
northern  march,  following  the  trail  of  Rivera. 
Galvez  had  named,  by  proclamation,  St.  Joseph 
as  the  patron  saint  of  the  California  expeditions. 
Santa  Maria  w^  designated  as  the  patroness  of 
conversions. 

The  San  Antonia,  the  last  vessel  to  sail,  was 
the  first  to  arrive  at  San  Diego.  It  anchored  in 
the  bay  April  11,  1769;  after  a  prosperous  voy- 
age of  twenty-four  days.  There  she  remained 
at  anchor,  awaiting  the  arrival  of  the  San  Car- 
los, the  ilag  ship  of  the  expedition,  which  had 
sailed  more  than  a  month  before  her.  On  the 
29th  of  April  the  San  Carlo,,  after  a  disastrous 
1  of  one  hundred  and  ten  days,  drifted 
into  the  Hay  of  San  Diego,  her  crew  prostrated 
with  the  scurvy,  not  enough  able-bodied  men 
being  left  to  man  a  boat.  Canvas  tents  were 
pitched  and  the  afflicted  men  taken  ashore. 
When  the  disease  had  run  its  course  nearly  all 
of  the  crew  of  the  San  Carlos,  half  of  the  sol- 
dier- who  had  come  on  her,  and  nine  of  the 
sailors  of  the  San  Antonio,  were  dead. 

On  the  14th  of  .May  Captain  Rivera  y  Mon- 
cada's  detachment  arrived.  The  expedition  had 
made  the  journey  from  Velicata  in  fifn  one 
days.  On  the  first  of  July  the  second  division. 
commanded  bj  Portola,  arrived.  The  journej 
had  been  uneventful.  The  four  divisions  of  the 
grand  expedition  were  now  united,  but  its  num- 
bers had  been  greatly  reduced.  (  >ut  of  two 
hundred  and  nineteen  who  had  set  out  by  land 
and  sea  onl)  one  hundred  and  twenty-six  re- 
mained; death  from  scurv}  and  the  desertion  of 
the  neophytes  had  reduced  the  numbers  nearly 
one-half.     Thi  the   scurv)    had   de- 

the  en  w  of  one  of  the  vessels  and 
greatly  crippled  that  of  ibe  other,  so  it  was  im- 
possible   to    pri  '    to    Monterey,   the 

tive    point     of     the    expedition.       A 
council   of   the   officers   was   held   and    it    was   de- 


cided to  send  the  San  Antonia  back  to  San  Bias 
for  supplies  and  sailors  to  man  the  San  Carlos. 
The  San  Antonia  sailed  on  the  9th  of  July  and 
after  a  voyage  of  twenty  days  reached  her  des- 
tination; but  short  as  the  voyage  was,  half  of 
the  crew  died  of  the  scurvy  on  the  passage.  In 
early  American  navigation  the  scurvy  was  the 
most  dreaded  scourge  of  the  sea,  more  to  be 
feared  than  storm  and  shipwreck.  These  might 
happen  occasionally,  but  the  scurvy  always  made 
its  appearance  on  long  voyages,  and  sometimes 
destroyed  the  whole  ship's  crew.  Its  appearance 
and  ravages  were  largely  due  to  the  neglect  of 
sanitary  precautions  and  to  the  utter  indiffer- 
c-nce  of  those  in  authority  to  provide  for  the 
comfort  and  health  of  the  sailors.  The  interces- 
sion of  the  saints,  novenas,  fasts  and  penance 
were  relied  upon  to  protect  and  save  the  vessel 
and  her  crew,  while  the  simplest  sanitary  meas- 
ures were  utterly  disregarded.  A  blind,  unrea- 
soning faith  that  was  always  seeking  interposi- 
tion from  some  power  without  to  preserve  and 
ignoring  the  power  within,  was  the  bane  and 
curse  of  that  age  of  superstition. 

If  the  mandates  of  King  Carlos  III.  and  the 
instructions  of  the  visitador-general,  Jose  de 
Galvez,  were  to  be  carried  out,  the  expedition 
for  the  settlement  of  the  second  point  designated 
(Monterey)  must  be  made  by  land:  accordingly 
Governor  Fortola  set  about  organizing  his 
forces  for  the  overland  journey.  On  the  14th 
of  July  the  expedition  began  its  march.  It  con- 
sisted of  Governor  Tortola.  Padres  Crespi  and 
Gomez,  Captain  Rivera  y  Moncada,  Lieutenant 
Pedro  1  ages.  Engineer  Miguel  Constanso.  sol- 
diers, muleteers  and  Indian  servants,  number- 
ing in  all  sixty-two  pers.  ins. 

On  the  16th  of  Jul}",  two  days  after  th<  de- 
parture of  Governor  Portola,  Father  Junipero, 
assisted  by  Padres  \  iscaino  and  Parron,  founded 
the  mission  of  San  Diego.  The  site  selected 
was  in  what  is  now  (  lid  Town,  near  the  tempo- 
rary presidio,  which  had  been  hastily  con- 
structed before  the  departure  of  Governor  Tor- 
tola.  A  hut  of  boughs  had  been  constructed 
and  in  this  the  ceremonies  of  founding  were 
held.  The  Indians,  while  interested  in  what  was 
going  on,  manifested  no  desire  to  be  converted. 
They  were  willing  to  receive  gifts,  particularly 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


47 


of  cloth,  but  would  not  taste  the  food  of  the 
Spaniards,  fearing  that  it  contained  poison  and 
attributing  the  many  deaths  among  the  soldiers 
and  sailors  to  the  food.  The  Indians  had  a  great 
liking  for  pieces  of  cloth,  and  their  desire  to 
obtain  this  led  to  an  attack  upon  the  people  of 
the  mission.  On  the  14th  of  August,  taking 
advantage  of  the  absence  of  Padre  Parron  and 
two  soldiers,  they  broke  into  the  mission  and 
began  robbing  it  and  the  beds  of  the  sick.  The 
four  soldiers,  a  carpenter  and  a  blacksmith  ral- 
lied to  the  defense,  and  after  several  of  their 
numbers  had  fallen  by  the  guns  of  the  soldiers, 
the  Indians  fled.  A  boy  servant  of  the  padres 
was  killed  and  Father  Yiscaino  wounded  in  the 
hand.  After  this  the  Indians  were  more  cau- 
tious. 

We  now  return  to  the  march  of  Portola's  ex- 
pedition. As  the  first  exploration  of  the  main 
land  of  California  was  made  by  it,  I  give  con- 
siderable space  to  the  incidents  of  the  journey. 
Crespi,  Constanso  and  Fages  kept  journals  of 
the  march.  I  quote  from  those  of  Constanso 
and  Crespi.  Lieutenant  Constanso  thus  de- 
scribes the  order  of  the  march.  "The  setting- 
forth  was  on  the  14th  day  of  June*  of  the  cited 
year  of  '69.  The  two  divisions  of  the  expedition 
by  land  marched  in  one,  the  commander  so  ar- 
ranging because  the  number  of  horse-herd  and 
packs  was  much,  since  of  provisions  and  victuals 
alone  they  carried  one  hundred  packs,  which  he 
estimated  to  be  necessary  t'o  ration  all  the  folk 
during  six  months;  thus  providing  against  a 
delay  of  the  packets,  altho'  it  was  held  to  be 
impossible  that  in  this  interval  some  one  of 
them  should  fail  to  arrive  at  Monterey.  On 
the  marches  the  following  order  was  observed: 
At  the  head  went  the  commandant  with  the  offi- 
cers, the  six  men  of  the  Catalonia  volunteers, 
who  added  themselves  at  San  Diego,  and  some 
friendly  Indians,  with  spades,  mattocks,  crow- 
bars, axes  and  other  implements  of  pioneers,  to 
chop  and  open  a  passage  whenever  necessary. 
After  them  followed  the  pack-train,  divided  into 
four  bands  with  the  muleteers  and  a  competent 
number  of  garrison  soldiers  for  their  escort  with 
each  band.     In  the  rear  guard  with  the  rest  of 

♦Evidently  an  error;    it  should  be  July   14th. 


the  troops  and  friendly  Indians  came  the  cap- 
tain,    Don     Fernando     Rivera,    convoying    the 
horse-herd  and  the-  mule   herd  for  relays." 
*      *     * 

"It  must  be  well  considered  that  the  marches 
of  these  troops  with  such  a  train  and  with  such 
embarrassments  thro'  unknown  lands  and  un- 
used paths  could  not  be  long  ones ;  leaving  aside 
the  other  causes  which  obliged  them  to  halt 
and  camp  early  in  the  afternoon,  that  is  to  say, 
the  necessity  of  exploring  the  land  one  day  for 
the  next,  so  as  to  regulate  them  (the  marches) 
according  to  the  distance  of  the  watering-places 
and  to  take  in  consequence  the  proper  precau- 
tions; setting  forth  again  on  special  occasions 
in  the  evening,  after  having  given  water  to  the 
1, easts  in  that  same  hour  upon  the  sure  informa- 
tion that  in  the  following  stretch  there  was  no 
water  or  that  the  watering  place  was  low,  or  the 
pasture  scarce.  The  restings  were  measured  by 
the  necessity,  every  four  days,  more  or  less, 
according  to  the  extraordinary  fatigue  occa- 
sioned by  the  greater  roughness  of  the  road, 
tlie  toil  of  the  pioneers,  or  the  wandering  off  of 
the  beasts  which  were  missing  from  the  horse 
herd  and  which  it  was  necessary  to  seek  by  their 
tracks.  At  other  times,  by  the  necessity  of 
humoring  the  sick,  when  there  were  any,  and 
with  time  there  were  many  who  yielded  up  their 
strength  to  the  continued  fatigue,  the  excessive 
heat  and  cruel  cold.  In  the  form  and  according 
to  the  method  related  the  Spaniard-  executed 
their  marches;  traversing  immense  lands  more 
fertile  and  more  pleasing  in  proportion  as  they 
penetrated  more  to  the  north.  Al!  in  general  are- 
peopled  with  a  multitude  of  Indians,  who  came 
out  to  meet  them  and  in  some  parts  accompa- 
nied them  from  one  sta^c  of  the  journey  to  the 
next;  a  folk  very  docile  and  tractable  chiefly 
from  San  Diego  onward." 

Constanso's  description  of  the  Indians  of 
Santa  Barbara  will  be  found  in  the  chapter  on  the 
"Aborigines  of  California."  "From  the  chan- 
nel of  Santa  Barbara  onward  the  lands  arc  not 
so  populous  nor  the  Indian-  so  industrious,  but 
they  are  equally  affable  and  tractable.  The 
Spaniards  pursued  their  voyage  without  opposi 
tion  up  to  the  Sierra  ol  Santa  Lucia,  which  they 
contrived  to  cross  with  much  hardship.     At  the 


■IS 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


loot  of  said  Sierra  on  the  north  side  is  to  be 
found  the  port  of  .Monterey,  according  to  an- 
cient reports,  between  the  Point  of  Pines  and 
that  of  Aiio  Nuevo  (New  Year).  The  Spaniards 
caught  sight  of  said  points  on  the  ist  of  October 
of  the  year  '69,  and,  believing  they  had  arrived 
al  the  end  of  their  voyage,  the  commandant  sent 
the  scouts  forward  to  reconnoitre  the  Point  of 
Pines;    in  whose  near  vicinity  lies  said  Port  in 

36  degrees  and  40  minutes  North  Latitude.  But 
the  scant  tokens  and  equivocal  ones  which  are 
given  of  it  by  the  Pilot  Cabrera  Bueno,  the  only 
clue  of  this  voyage,  and  the  character  of  this 
Port,  which  rather  merits  the  name  of  Bay, 
being  spacious  (in  likeness  to  that  of  Cadiz), 
not  corresponding  with  ideas  which  it  is  natural 
to  form  in  reading  the  log  of  the  aforemen- 
tioned Cabrera  Bueno,  nor  with  the  latitude  of 

37  degrees  in  which  he  located  it,  the  scouts  were 
persuaded  that  the  Port  must  be  farther  to  the 
north  and  they  returned  to  the  camp  which  our 
people  occupied  with  the  report  that  what  they 
sought  was  not  to  be  seen  in  those  parts." 

They  decided  that  the  Port  was  still  further 
north  and  resumed  their  march.  Seventeen  of 
their  number  were  sick  with  the  scurvy,  some  of 
whom,  Constanso  says,  seemed  to  be  in  their 
last  extremity;  these  had  to  be  carried  in  lit- 
ters.  To  add  to  their  miseries,  the  rains  began 
in  the  latter  part  of  October,  and  with  them 
came  an  epidemic  of  diarrhea,  "which  spread  to 
all  without  exception;  and  it  came  to  be  feared 
that  this  sickness  which  prostrated  their  powers 
and  left  the  persons  spiritless,  would  finish  with 
the  expedition  altogether.  Put  it  turned  out 
quite  to  the  contrary."  Those  afflicted  with  the 
scurvy  began  to  mend  and  in  a  short  time  they 
were  rest  iredto  health,  Constanso  thus  describes 
the  discovery  of  the  Bay  of  San  Francisco: 
"The  lasl  1  of  ictoberthe  Expedition  by  land 
came  in  sight  of  Punta  de  Los  Reyes  and  the 
Farallones  of  the  Port  of  San  Francisco,  whose 
landmarks,  compared  with  those  related  by 
!  'ill  1  l  1I1:  era  Bueno,  were  found 
Thereupon  it  became  of  evident  knowl- 
hai  thi  Porl  of  Mi  mterej  had  been  left 
behind;  there  being  few  who  stuck  to  the 
->  opinion.  Nevertheless  the  comman 
ilant     resolved     to     send     to     reconnoitre     the 


land  as  far  as  Point  de  los  Reyes.  The  scouts 
who  were  commissioned  for  this  purpose  found 
themselves  obstructed  by  immense  estuaries, 
which  run  extraordinarily  far  back  into  the  land 
and  were  obliged  to  make  great  detours  to  get 
around   the   heads   of   these.     *  *     Having 

arrived  at  the  end  of  the  first  estuary  and  recon- 
noitered  the  laud  that  would  have  to  be  followed 
to  arrive  at  the  Point  de  Los  Reyes,  interrupted 
with  new  estuaries,  scant  pasturage  and  fire- 
wood and  having  recognized,  besides  this,  the 
uncertainty  of  the  news  and  the  misapprehen- 
sion the  scouts  had  labored  under,  the  com- 
mandant, with  the  advice  of  his  officers,  resolved 
upon  a  retreat  to  the  Point  of  Pines  in  hopes  of 
finding  the  Port  of  Monterey  and  encountering 
in  it  the  Packet  San  Jose  or  the  San  Antonia, 
whose  succor  already  was  necessary;  since  of 
the  provisions  which  had  been  taken  in  San 
Diego  no  more  remained  than  some  few  sacks  of 
Hour  of  which  a  short  ration  was  issued  to  each 
individual  daily." 

"<  In  the  eleventh  day  of  November  was  put 
into  execution  the  retreat  in  search  of  Mon- 
terey. The  Spaniards  reached  said  port  and 
the  Point  of  Pines  on  the  28th  of  Novem- 
ber. They  maintained  themselves  in  this  place 
until  the  10th  of  December  without  any  ves- 
sel having  appeared  in  this  time.  For  which 
reason  and  noting  also  a  lack  of  victuals,  and 
that  the  sierra  of  Santa  Lucia  was  covering 
itself  with  snow,  the  commandant,  Don  Caspar 
de  Portola,  saw  himself  obliged  to  decide  to 
continue  the  retreat  unto  San  Diego,  leaving 
it  until  a  better  occasion  to  return  to  the  enter- 
prise. On  this  retreat  the  Spaniards  experi- 
enced some  hardships  and  necessities,  because 
they  entirely  lacked  provisions,  and  because  the 
long  marches,  which  necessity  obliged  to  make 
to  reach  San  Diego,  gave  no  time  for  seeking 
sustenance  by  the  chase,  nor  did  game  abound 
equallj  everywhere.  At  this  juncture  they  killed 
twelve  mules  of  the  pack-train  on  whose  meat 
the  folk  nourished  themselves  unto  San  Diego, 
at  which  new  establishment  they  arrived,  all  in 
health,  on  the  24th  of  January,   1770." 

The  San  Jose,  the  third  ship  fitted  out  by 
Visitador-General  Galvez,  and  which  Governor 
Portola  expected  to  find  in  the  Bay  of  Monte- 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


in 


rey,  sailed  from  San  Jose  del  Cabo  in  May, 
1770,  with  supplies  and  a  double  crew  to  sup- 
ply the  loss  of  sailors  on  the  other  vessels,  but 
nothing  was  ever  heard  of  her  afterwards.  Pro- 
visions were  running  low  at  San  Diego,  no  ship 
had  arrived,  and  Governor  Portola  had  decided 
to  abandon  the  place  and  return  to  Loreto. 
Father  Junipero  was  averse  to  this  and  prayed 
unceasingly  for  the  intercession  of  Saint  Joseph, 
the  patron  of  the  expedition.  A  novena  or  nine 
days'  public  prayer  was  instituted  to  terminate 
with  a  grand  ceremonial  on  March  19th,  which 
was  the  saint's  own  day.  But  on  the  23rd  of 
March,  when  all  were  ready  to  depart,  the 
packet  San  Antonia  arrived.  She  had  sailed 
from  San  Bias  the  20th  of  December.  She  en- 
countered a  storm  which  drove  her  four  hun- 
dred leagues  from  the  coast;  then  she  made 
iand  in  35  degrees  north  latitude.  Turning  her 
prow  southward,  she  ran  down  to  Point  Concep- 
cion,  where  at  an  anchorage  in  the  Santa  Bar- 
bara channel  the  captain,  Perez,  took  on  water 
and  learned  from  the  Indians  of  the  return  of 
Portola's  expedition.  The  vessel  then  ran  down 
to  San  Diego,  where  its  opportune  arrival 
prevented  the  abandonment  of  that  settle- 
ment. 


With  an  abundant  supply  of  provisions  and  a 
vessel  to  carry  the  heavier  articles  needed  in 
forming  a  settlement  at  Monterey,  Portola  or- 
ganized a  second  expedition.  This  time  he  took 
with  him  only  twenty  soldiers  and  one  officer, 
Lieutenant  Pedro  Fages.  He  set  out  from  San 
Diego  on  the  17th  of  April  and  followed  his  trail 
made  the  previous  year.  Father  Serra  and  the 
engineer,  Constanso,  sailed  on  the  San  Antonia, 
which  left  the  port  of  San  Diego  on  the  16th  of 
April.  The  land  expedition  reached  Monterey 
on  the  23d  of  May  and  the  San  Antonia  on  the 
31st  of  the  same  month.  On  the  3d  of  June, 
1770,  the  mission  of  San  Carlos  Borromeo  de 
Monterey  was  formally  founded  with  solemn 
church  ceremonies,  accompanied  by  the  ringing 
of  bells,  the  crack  of  musketry  and  the  roar  of 
cannon.  Father  Serra  conducted  the  church 
services.  Governor  Portola  took  possession  of 
the  land  in  the  name  of  King  Carlos  III.  A 
presidio  or  fort  of  palisades  was  built  and  a  few 
huts  erected.  Portola,  having  formed  the  nu- 
cleus of  a  settlement,  turned  over  the  command 
of  the  territory  to  Lieutenant  Fages.  On  the 
9th  of  July,  1770,  he  sailed  on  the  San  Antonia 
for  San  Bias.  He  never  returned  to  Alta  Cali- 
fornia. 


CHAPTER   IV. 


ABORIGINES    OF    CALIFORNIA. 


WHETHER  the  primitive  California  In- 
dian was  the  low  and  degraded  being 
that  some  modern  writers  represent 
him  to  have  been,  admits  of  doubt.  A  mis- 
sion training  continued  through  three  gen- 
erations did  not  elevate  him  in  morals  at  least. 
When  freed  from  mission  restraint  and  brought 
in  contact  with  the  white  race  he  lapsed  into  a 
condition  more  degraded  and  more  debased  than 
that  in  which  the  missionaries  found  him. 
Whether  it  was  the  inherent  fault  of  the  Indian 
or  the  fault  of  his  training  is  a  question  that  is 
useless  to  discuss  now.  If  we  are  to  believe  the 
accounts  of  the  California  Indian  given  by  Vis- 
caino  and  Constanso,  who  saw  him  before  he 


had  come  in  contact  with  civilization  he  was  not 
inferior  in  intelligence  to  the  nomad  aborigines 
of  the  country  east  of  the  Rocky  mountains. 

Sebastian  Viscafno  thus  describes  the  In- 
dians he  found  on  the  shores  of  Monterey  Bay 
three  hundred  years  ago: 

"The  Indians  are  of  good  stature  and  fair 
complexion,  the  women  being  somewhat  less  in 
size  than  the  men  and  of  pleasing  countenance. 
The  clothing  of  the  people  of  the  coast  lands 
consists  of  the  skins  of  the  sea-wolves  (otter) 
abounding  there,  which  they  tan  and  dress  bet- 
ter than  is  done  in  Castile;  they  possess  also, 
in  great  quantity,  flax  like  thai  of  Castile,  hemp 
and  cotton,  from  which  they  make  fishing-lines 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL    Rll'URU. 


-  for  rabbits  and  hares.  They  have  ves- 
pine  wood  very  well  made,  in  which  they 
go  to  sea  with  fourteen  paddle  men  on  a  side 
with  great  dexterity,  even  in  stormy  weather." 
Indians  who  could  construct  boats  of  pine 
boards  that  took  twenty-eight  paddle  men  to 
row  were  certainly  superior  in  maritime  craft 
to  the  birch  bark  canoe  savages  of  the  east. 
We  might  accuse  Yiscaino,  who  was  trying  to 
induce  King  Philip  III.  to  found  a  colony  on 
Monterey  Bay,  of  exaggeration  in  regard  to 
the  Indian  boats  were  not  his  statements  con- 
firmed by  the  engineer,  Miguel  Constansc'>,  who 
accompanied  Portola's  expedition  one  hundred 
and  sixty-seven  years  after  Yiscaino  visited  the 
coast.  Constanso,  writing  of  the  Indians  of  the 
Santa  Barbara  Channel,  says,  "The  dexterity 
and  skill  of  these  Indians  is  surpassing  in  the 
construction  of  their  launches  made  of  pine 
planking.  They  are  from  eight  to  ten  varas 
(twenty-three  to  twenty-eight  feet)  in  length, 
including  their  rake  and  a  vara  and  a  half  (four 
feet  three  inches)  beam.  Into  their  fabric  enters 
no  iron  whatever,  of  the  use  of  which  they  know 
little.  But  the)  fasten  the  boards  with  firmness, 
one  to  another,  working  their  drills  just  so  far 
apart  and  at  a  distance  of  an  inch  from  the  edge, 
the  holes  in  the  upper  boards  corresponding 
with  those  in  the  lower,  and  through  these  holes 
they  pass  strong  lashings  of  deer  sinews.  They 
pitch  and  calk  the  seams,  and  paint  the  whole 
in  sightly  colors.  They  handle  the  boats  with 
equal  cleverness,  and  three  or  four  men  go  out 
to  sea  to  fish  in  them,  though  they  have  capacity 
to  carry  eight  or  ten.  They  use  long  oars  with 
two  blade-  and  row  with  unspeakable  lightness 
and  velocity.  The)  know  all  the  arts  of  fishing, 
and  fish  abound  along  their  coasts  as  has  bet  n 
["he;  have  communication 
and  commerce  with  the  native-  of  the  islands, 
whence  they  gel   tin    '■•  ol   coral   which   are 

current  in  pla  through  these  lands, 

although   they   hold  in   more  esteem  the  glass 
which   the   Spaniards   gave   them,   and   of- 
fered  in   exchange   for  these  whatever  the)    had 
like    trays,    otter    skins,    baskets    and    wooden 
*     * 

"They   are   likewise   great    hunters.     To   kill 
dee:    and  antelope  they  avail  themselves  of  an 


admirable  ingenuity.  They  preserve  the  hide 
of  the  head  and  part  of  the  neck  of  some  one 
of  these  animals,  skinned  with  care  and  leaving 
the  horns  attached  to  the  same  hide,  which  they 
stuff  with  grass  or  straw  to  keep  its  shape. 
They  put  this  said  shell  like  a  cap  upon  the  head 
and  go  forth  to  the  woods  with  this  rare  equip- 
age. On  sighting  the  deer  or  antelope  they  go 
dragging  themselves  along  the  ground  little  by 
little  with  the  left  hand.  In  the  right  they  carry 
the  bow  and  four  arrows.  They  lower  and  raise 
the  head,  moving  it  to  one  side  and  the  other, 
and  making  other  demonstration:,  so  like  these 
animals  that  they  attract  them  without  difficulty 
to  the  snare;  and  having  them  within  a  short 
distance,  they  discharge  their  arrows  at  them 
with  certainty  of  hitting." 

In  the  two  chief  occupations  of  the  savage, 
hunting  and  fishing,  the  Indians  of  the  Santa 
Barbara  Channel  seem  to  have  been  the  equals 
if  not  the  superiors  of  their  eastern  brethren. 
In  the  art  of  war  they  were  inferior.  Their 
easy  conquest  by  the  Spaniards  and  their  tame 
subjection  to  mission  rule  no  doubt  had  much 
to  do  with  giving  them  a  reputation  for  infe- 
riority. 

The  Indians  of  the  interior  valleys  and  those 
of  the  coast  belonged  to  the  same  general  fam- 
ily. There  were  no  great  tribal  divisions  like 
those  that  existed  among  the  Indians  east  of  the 
Rocky  mountains.  Each  rancheria  was  to  a 
certain  extent  independent  of  all  others,  al- 
though at  times  they  were  known  to  combine 
for  war  or  plunder.  Although  not  warlike,  they 
sometimes  resisted  the  whites  in  battle  with 
great  bravery.  Each  village  had  its  own  terri- 
tory in  which  to  hunt  and  fish  and  its  own  sec- 
tion in  which  to  gather  nuts,  seeds  and  herbs. 
While  their  mode  of  living  was  somewhat  no- 
madic the)  seem  to  have  had  a  fixed  location  for 
their  rancherias. 

The  early  Spanish  settlers  of  California  and 
the  mission  padres  have  left  but  very  meager 
accounts  of  the  manners,  customs,  traditions, 
government  and  religion  of  the  aborigines.  The 
pa  Ires  were  too  intent  upon  driving  out  the  old 
religious  beliefs  of  the  Indian  and  instilling  new 
lines  to  care  much  what  the  aborigine  had  for- 
merly believed  or  what  traditions  or  myths  he 


HISTORICAL   AXD   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


r,l 


had  inherited  from  his  ancestors.  They  ruth- 
lessly destroyed  his  fetiches  and  his  altars 
wherever  they  found  them,  regarding  them  as 
inventions  of  the  devil. 

The  best  account  that  has  come  down  to  us 
of  the  primitive  life  of  the  Southern  California 
aborigines  is  found  in  a  series  of  letters  written 
by  Hugo  Rcid  and  published  in  the  Los  An- 
geles Star  in  1851-52.  Reid  was  an  educated 
Scotchman,  who  came  to  Los  Angeles  in  1834. 
He  married  an  Indian  woman.  Dona  Victoria,  a 
neophyte  of  the  San  Gabriel  mission.  She  was 
the  daughter  of  an  Indian  chief.  It  is  said  that 
Reid  had  been  crossed  in  love  by  some  high 
toned  Spanish  seriorita  and  married  the  Indian 
woman  because  she  had  the  same  name  as  his 
lost  love.  It  is  generally  believed  that  Reid  was 
the  putative  father  of  Helen  Hunt  Jackson's 
heroine,  Ramona. 

From  these  letters,  now  in  the  possession  of 
the  Historical  Society  of  Southern  California, 
I  briefly  collate  some  of  the  leading  character- 
istics of  the  Southern  Indians: 

GOVERNMENT. 

"Before  the  Indians  belonging  to  the  greater 
part  of  this  country  were  known  to  the  whiles 
they  comprised,  as  it  were,  one  great  family 
under  distinct  chiefs;  they  spoke  nearly  the  same 
language,  with  the  exception  of  a  few  words, 
and  were  more  to  be  distinguished  by  a  local 
intonation  of  the  voice  than  anything  else.  Be- 
ing related  by  blood  and  marriage  war  was 
never  carried  on  between  them.  When  war  was 
consequently  waged  against  neighboring  tribes 
of  no  affinity  it  was  a  common  cause.*' 

"Die  government  of  the  people  was  invested 
in  the  hands  of  their  chiefs,  each  captain  com- 
manding his  own  lodge.  The  command  was 
hereditary  in  a  family.  If  the  right  line  of  de- 
scent ran  out  they  elected  one  of  the  same  kin 
nearest  in  blood.  Laws  in  general  were  made 
as  required,  with  some  few  standing  ones.  Rob- 
bery was  never  known  among  them.  Murder 
was  of  rare  occurrence  and  punished  with  death. 
Incest  was  likewise  punished  with  death,  being 
held  in  such  abhorrence  that  marriages  between 
kinsfolk  were  not  allowed.  The  manner  of  put- 
ting to  death   was  by   shooting  the  delinquent 


with  arrows.  If  a  quarrel  ensued  between  two 
parties  the  chief  of  the  lodge  took  cognizance 
111  the  case  and  decided  according  to  the  testi- 
mony produced.  But  if  a  quarrel  occurred 
between  parties  of  distinct  lodges,  each  chief 
heard  the  witnesses  produced  by  his  own  people, 
and  then,  associated  with  the  chief  of  the  oppo- 
site side,  they  passed  sentence.  In  case  the) 
could  not  agree  an  impartial  chief  was  called  in, 
who  heard  the  statements  made  by  both  ami  lie 
alone  decided.  There  was  no  appeal  from  his  de- 
cision. Whipping  was  never  resorted  to  as  a 
punishment.  All  fines  and  sentences  consisted  in 
delivering  shells,  money,  food  and  skins." 


"They  believed  in  one  God,  the  Maker  and 
Creator  of  all  things,  whose  name  was  and  is 
held  so  sacred  among  them  as  hardly  ever  to  be 
used,  and  when  used  only  in  a  low  voice.  That 
name  is  Oua-o-ar.  When  they  have  to  use  the 
name  of  the  supreme  being  on  an  ordinary  oc- 
casion they  substitute  in  its  stead  the  word 
V-yo-ha-rory-nain  or  the  Giver  of  Life.  They 
have  only  one  word  in  designate  life  and 
si  ml." 

"The  world  was  at  one  time  in  a  state  of  chaos, 
until  God  gave  it  its  present  formation,  fixing 
it  on  the  shoulders  of  seven  giants,  made  ex- 
pressly for  this  end.  They  have  their  names, 
and  when  they  move  themselves  an  earthquake 
is  the  consequence.  Animals  were  then  formed, 
and  lastly  man  and  woman  were  formed,  separ- 
ately from  earth  and  ordered  to  live  together. 
The  man's  name  was  Tobahar  and  the  woman's 
Probavit.  God  ascended  to  Heaven  immediately 
afterward,  where  he  receives  the  souls  of  all  who 
die.  They  had  no  bad  spirits  connected  with 
their  creed,  and  never  heard  of  a  'devil'  or  a 
'hell'  until  the  coming  of  the  Spaniards.  They 
believed  in  110  resurrection  whatever" 


"Chiefs  had  one.  two  or  three  wives,  as  their 
inclination  dictated,  the  subjects  onl)  one.  When 
a  person  wished  to  marry  and  had  -el 
suitable  partner,  lie  advertised  the  same  to  all 
his  relatives,  even  to  the  nineteenth  cousin  '  m 
a  day  appointed   the   male   portion   of  the  lodge 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


brought  in  a  collection  of  money  heads.  All  the 
relations  having  come  in  with  their  share, 
the)  (the  males)  proceeded  in  a  body  to  the  resi- 
dence of  the  bride,  to  whom  timely  notice  had 
been  given.  All  of  the  bride's  female  relations 
had  been  assembled  and  the  money  was  equally 
divided  among  them,  the  bride  receiving  noth- 
ing, as  it  was  a  sort  of  purchase.  After  a  few 
davs  the  bride's  female  relations  returned  the 
compliment  by  taking  to  the  bridegroom's 
dwelling  baskets  of  meal  made  of  chia,  which 
was  distributed  among  the  male  relatives.  These 
preliminaries  over,  a  day  was  fixed  for  the  cere- 
mony, which  consisted  in  decking  out  the  bride 
in  innumerable  strings  of  beads,  paint,  feathers 
and  skins.  ( )n  being  ready  she  was  taken  up 
in  the  arms  of  one  of  her  strongest  male  rela- 
tives Alio  carried  her.  dancing,  towards  her 
lover's  habitation.  All  of  her  family,  friends  and 
neighbors  accompanied,  dancing  around,  throw- 
ing food  and  edible  seeds  at  her  feet  at  every 
step.  These  were  collected  in  a  scramble  by  the 
spectators  as  best  they  could.  The  relations 
of  the  bridegroom  met  them  half  way.  and,  tak- 
ing the  bride,  carried  her  themselves,  joining  in 
the  ceremonious  walking  dance.  (  )n  arriving  at 
the  bridegroom's  (who  was  sitting  within  his 
hut)  she  was  inducted  into  her  new  residence  by 
being  placed  alongside  of  her  husband,  while 
baskets  of  seeds  were  liberally  emptied  on  their 
heads  to  denote  blessings  and  plenty.  This  was 
likewise  scrambled  for  by  the  spectators,  who, 
on  gathering  up  all  the  bride's  seed  cake,  de- 
parted, leaving  them  to  enjoy  their  honeymoon 
according  to  usage.  A  -rand  dance  was  given 
on  the  occasion,  the  warriors  doing  the  danc- 
ing, the  young  women  doing  the  singing.  The 
wife  never  visited  her  relatives  from  that  day 
forth,  although  they  were  at  liberty  to  visit  her." 


"When  a  person  died  all  the  kin  collected  to 
mourn  his  or  her  loss.  Each  one  had  his  own 
peculiar  mode  of  crying  or  howling,  as  easil)  dis 
tinguished  the  one  from  the  other  as  one  song 
is  from  another.  After  lamenting  awhile  a 
mourning  dirge  was  sung  in  a  low  whining  tone. 
panied  by  a  shrill  whistle  produced  by 
blowing    into    the    tube    of     a     deer's     leg    hone. 


Dancing  can  hardly  be  said  to  have  formed  a 
part  of  the  rites,  as  it  was  merely  a  monotonous 
action  of  the  foot  on  the  ground.  This  was  con- 
tinued alternately  until  the  body  showed  signs 
of  decay,  when  it  was  wrapped  in  the  covering 
used  in  life.  The  hands  were  crossed  upon  the 
breast  and  the  body  tied  from  head  to  foot.  A 
grave  having  been  dug  in  their  burial  ground, 
the  body  was  deposited  with  seeds,  etc.,  accord- 
ing to  the  means  of  the  family.  If  the  deceased 
were  the  head  of  the  family  or  a  favorite  son, 
the  hut  in  which  he  lived  was  burned  up,  as 
likewise  were  all  his  personal  effects." 

FEUDS THE  SONG    FIGHTS. 

"Animosity  between  persons  or  families  was 
of  long  duration,  particularly  between  those  of 
different  tribes.  These  feuds  descended  from 
father  to  son  until  it  was  impossible  to  tell  of 
how  many  generations.  They  were,  however, 
harmless  in  themselves,  living  merely  a  war  of 
songs,  composed  and  sung  against  the  conflict- 
ing party,  and  they  were  all  of  the  most  obscene 
and  indecent  language  imaginable.  There  are 
two  families  at  this  day  (1851)  whose  feud  com- 
menced before  the  Spaniards  were  ever  dreamed 
of  and  they  still  continue  singing  and  dancing 
against  each  other.  The  one  resides  at  the  mis- 
sion of  San  Gabriel  and  the  other  at  San  Juan 
Capistrano;  they  both  lived  at  San  Bernardino 
when  the  quarrel  commenced.  During  the  sing- 
ing they  continue  stamping  on  the  ground  to 
express  the  pleasure  they  would  derive  from 
tramping  on  the  graves  of  their  foes.  Eight  days 
was  the  duration  of  the  song  fight." 

UTENSILS. 

"From  the  bark  of  nettles  was  manufactured 
thread  for  nets,  fishing  lines,  etc.  Needles,  fish- 
hooks, awls  and  many  other  articles  were  made 
of  either  hone  or  shell;  for  cutting  up  meat  a 
knife  of  cane  was  invariably  used.  Mortars  and 
pestles  were  made  of  granite.  Sharp  stones  and 
perseverance  were  the  only  things  used  in  their 
manufacture,  and  so  skillfully  did  they  combine 
the  two  that  their  work  was  always  remarkably 
uniform.  Their  pots  1,,  cook  in  were  made  of 
soapstone  of  about  an  inch  in  thickness  and 
procured    from    the    Indians    of   Santa    Catalina. 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


Their  baskets,  made  out  of  a  certain  species  of 
rush,  were  used  only  for  dry  purposes,  although 
they  were  water  proof.  The  vessels  in  use  for 
liquids  were  roughly  made  of  rushes  and  plas- 
tered outside  and  in  with  bitumen  or  pitch." 

INDIANS   OF   THE  SANTA    BARBARA    CHANNEL. 

Miguel  Constanso,  the  engineer  who  accom- 
panied Portola's  expedition  in  1769,  gives  us  the 
best  description  of  the  Santa  Barbara  Indians 
extant. 

"The  Indians  in  whom  was  recognized  more 
vivacity  and  industry  are  those  that  inhabit  the 
islands  and  the  coast  of  the  Santa  Barbara 
channel.  They  live  in  pueblos  (villages)  whose 
houses  are  of  spherical  form  in  the  fashion  of  a 
half  orange  covered  with  rushes.  They  are  up 
to  twenty  varas  (fifty-five  feet)  in  diameter.  Each 
house  contains  three  or  four  families.  The 
hearth  is  in  the  middle  and  in  the  top  of  the 
house  they  leave  a  vent  or  chimney  to  give  exit 
for  the  smoke.  In  nothing  did  these  gentiles 
give  the  lie  to  the  affability  and  good  treatment 
which  were  experienced  at  their  hands  in  other 
times  (1602)  by  the  Spaniards  who  landed  upon 
those  coasts  with  General  Sebastian  Vizcayno. 
They  are  men  and  women  of  good  figure  and  as- 
pect, very  much  given  to  painting  and  staining 
their  faces  and  bodies  with  red  ochre. 

"They  use  great  head  dresses  of  feathers  and 
some  panderellas  (small  darts)  which  they  bind 
up  amid  their  hair  with  various  trinkets  and 
beads  of  coral  of  various  colors.  The  men  go 
entirely  naked,  but  in  time  of  cold  they  sport 
some  long  capes  of  tanned  skins  of  nutrias  (ot- 
ters) and  some  mantles  made  of  the  same  skins 
cut  in  long  strips,  which  they  twist  in  such  a 
manner  that  all  the  fur  remains  outside:  then 
they  weave  these  strands  one  with  another, 
forming  a  weft,  and  give  it  the  pattern  referred 
to. 

"The  women  go  with  more  decency,  girt 
about  the  waist  with  tanned  skins  of  deer  which 
cover  them  in  front  and  behind  more  than  half 
down  the  leg,  and  with  a  mantelet  of  nutria  over 
the  body.  There  are  some  of  them  with  good 
features.  These  are  the  Indian  women  win. 
make  the  trays  and  vases  of  rushes,  to  which 
they  give  a  thousand  different  forms  and  grace- 


ful patterns,  according  to  the  uses  to  which  they 
are  destined,  whether  it  be  for  eating,  drinking, 
guarding  their  seeds,  or  for  other  purposes;  for 
these  peoples  do  not  know  the  use  of  earthen 
ware  as  those  of  San  Diego  use  it. 

"The  men  work  handsome  trays  of  wood,  with 
finer  inlays  of  coral  or  of  bone:  and  some  vases 
of  much  capacity,  closing  at  the  mouth,  which 
appear  to  be  made  with  a  lathe — and  with  this 
machine  they  would  not  come  out  better  hol- 
lowed nor  of  more  perfect  form.  They  give,  the 
whole  a  luster  which  appears  the  finished  handi- 
work of  a  skilled  artisan.  The  large  vessels 
which  hold  water  are  of  a  very  strong  weave  of 
rushes  pitched  within:  and  they  give  them  the 
same  form  as  our  water  jars. 

"To  eat  the  seeds  which  they  use  in  place  of 
bread  they  toast  them  first  in  great  trays,  put- 
ting among  the  seeds  some  pebbles  or  small 
stones  heated  until  red:  then  they  move  and 
shake  the  tray  so  it  may  not  burn ;  and  getting 
the  seed  sufficiently  toasted  they  grind  it  in  mor- 
tars or  almireses  of  stone.  Some  of  these  mor- 
tars were  of  extraordinary  size,  as  well  wrought 
as  if  they  had  had  for  the  purpose  the  best  steel 
tools.  The  constancy,  attention  to  trifles,  and 
labor  which  they  employ  in  finishing  these  pieces 
are  well  worth}-  of  admiration.  The  mortars  are 
so  appreciated  among  themselves  that  for  those 
who,  dying,  leave  behind  such  handiworks,  they 
are  wont  to  place  them  over  the  spot  where  they 
are  buried,  that  the  memory  of  their  skill  and 
application  may  not  be  lost. 

"They  inter  their  dead.  They  have  their  cem- 
eteries within  the  very  pueblo.  The  funerals  of 
their  captains  they  make  with  great  pump,  and 
set  up  over  their  bodies  some  rods  or  poles,  ex- 
tremely tall,  from  which  they  hang  a  variety  of 
utensils  and  chattels  which  were  used  by  them. 
They  likewise  put  in  the  same  place  some  great 
planks  of  pine,  with  various  paintings  and  fig- 
ures in  which  without  doubt  they  explain  the 
exploits  and  prowesses  of  the  personage. 

"Plurality  of  wives  is  not  lawful  among  these 
peoples.  Only  the  captains  have  a  right  t" 
marry  two.  In  all  their  pueblos  the  attention 
was  taken  by  a  species  of  men  who  lived  like  the 
women,  kept  company  with  them,  dressed  in  the 
same  garb,  adonted  themselves  with  bead-,  pen- 


.-,1 


HISTORICAL   AXD    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


dants,  necklaces  and  other  womanish  adorn- 
ments,  and  enjoyed  great  consideration  among 
the  people.  The  lack  ot  an  interpreter  did  not 
permit  us  to  find  out  what  class  of  men  they 
were,  or  to  what  ministry  they  were  destined, 
though  all  suspect  a  defect  in  sex,  or  some 
abuse  among  those  gentiles. 

"In  their  houses  the  married  couples  have 
their  separate  beds  on  platforms  elevated  from 
the  ground.  Their  mattresses  arc  some  simple 
petates  (mats)  of  rushes  and  their  pillows  are 
of  the  same  petates  roiled  up  at  the  head  of  the 
bed.  Ail  these  beds  are  hung  about  with  like 
mats,  which  serve  for  decency  and  protect  from 
the  cold." 

From  the  descriptions  given  by  Yiscaino  and 
Constanso  of  the  coast  Indians  they  do  not  ap- 
pear to  have  been  the  degraded  creatures  that 
some  modern  writers  have  pictured  them.  In 
mechanical  ingenuity  they  were  superior  to  the 
Indians  of  the  Atlantic  seaboard  or  those  of  the 
Mississippi  valley.  Much  of  the  credit  that  has 
been  given  to  the  mission  padres  for  the  patient 
training  they  gave  the  Indians  in  mechanical 
arts  should  be  given  to  the  Indian  himself.  He 
was  no  mean  mechanic  when  the  padre-  took 
him    in  hand. 

Bancroft  says  "the  Northern  California  In- 
dians were  in  every  way  superior  to  the  central 
and  southern  tribes."  The  difference  was  more 
in  climate  than  in  race.  Those  of  Northern  Cal- 
ifornia living  in  an  invigorating  climate  were 
more  active  and  more  warlike  than  their 
sluggish  brethren  of  the  south.  They  gained 
their  living  by  hunting  larger  game  than 
tlio-c  i  if  the  south  whose  subsistence  was  derived 
from  acorns,  seeds,  small  game  and  fish. 
Those  of  the  interior  valleys  of  the  north  were 
of  ligln<  r  '  i  mple  ii  in  and  had  better  forms  and 
features  than  their  southern  kinsmen.  They 
divided  into  numerous  small  tribes  or 
clans,  like  those  of  central  and  Southern  Cali- 
i  irnia.  Tin  Spaniards  never  penetrated  very 
far  into  the  Indian  country  of  the  north  and 
quently  know  little  or  nothing  about  the 
and  customs  of  the  aborigines  there. 
the  discover)  of  gold  the  miner-  invaded 
their  country  in  search  of  the  precious  metal. 
The    Indians   at    first    were     not    hostile,   but    ill 


treatment  soon  made  them  so.  When  they  re- 
taliated on  the  whites  a  war  of  extermination 
was  waged  against  them.  Like  the  mission  In- 
dians of  the  south  they  are  almost  extinct. 

All  of  the  coast  Indians  seem  to  have  had 
some  idea  of  a  supreme  being.  The  name  dif- 
fered with  the  different  tribes.  According  to 
Hugo  Reid  the  god  of  the  San  Gabriel  Indian 
was  named  Ouaoar.  Father  Boscana,  who 
wrote  "A  Historical  Account  of  the  Origin, 
Customs  and  Traditions  of  the  Indians"  at  the 
missionary  establishment  of  San  Juan  Capis- 
trano,  published  in  Alfred  Robinson's  "Life  in 
California,"  gives  a  lengthy  account  of  the  relig- 
ion of  those  Indians  before  their  conversion  to 
Christianity.  Their  god  was  Chinigchinich.  Evi- 
dently the  three  old  men  from  whom  Boscana 
derived  his  information  mixed  some  of  the 
religious  teachings  of  the  padres  with  their 
own  primitive  beliefs,  and  made  up  for  the  father 
a  nondescript  religion  half  heathen  and  half 
Christian.  Boscana  was  greatly  pleased  to  find 
so  many  allusions  to  Scriptural  truths,  evidently 
never  suspecting  that  the  Indians  were  imposing 
upon  him. 

The  religious  belief  of  the  Santa  Barbara 
Channel  Indians  appears  to  have  been  the  most 
rational  of  any  of  the  beliefs  held  by  the  Cali- 
fornia aborigines.  Their  god,  Chupu,  was  the 
deification  of  good;  and  Nunaxus,  their  Satan, 
the  personification  of  evil.  Chuputhe  all-powerful 
created  Nunaxus,  who  rebelled  against  his  cre- 
ator and  tried  to  overthrow  him;  but  Chupu,  the 
almighty,  punished  him  by  creating  man  who,  by 
devouring  the  animal  and  vegetable  products  of 
the  earth,  checked  the  physical  growth  of 
Nunaxus,  who  had  hoped  by  liberal  feeding  to 
become  like  unto  a  mountain.  Foiled  in  his  am- 
bition, Nunaxus  ever  afterwards  sought  to  in- 
jure mankind.  To  secure  Chupu's  protection, 
offerings  were  made  to  him  and  dances  were 
instituted  in  his  honor.  Mutes  and  other  in- 
struments were  played  to  attract  his  attention. 
When  Nunaxus  brought  calamity  upon  the  In- 
dians in  the  shape  of  dry  years,  which  caused  a 
dearth  of  animal  and  vegetable  products,  or  sent 
-  to  afllicl  them,  their  old  men  interceded 
with  Chupu  to  protect  them:  and  to  exorcise 
their     Satan     they     shot     arrows     and     threw 


HISTORICAL  AXD   BIOGRAPHICAL  RECORD. 


stones  in  the  direction  in  which  he  was  sup- 
posed to  be. 

Of  the  Indian  myths  and  traditions  Hugo 
Reid  says:  "They  were  of  incredible  length 
and  contained  more  metamorphoses  than  Ovid 
could  have  engendered  in  his  brain  had  he  lived 
a  thousand  years." 

The  Cahuilla  tribes  who  formerly  inhabited 
the  mountain  districts  of  the  southeastern  part 
of  the  state  had  a  tradition  of  their  creation.  Ac- 
cording to  this  tradition  the  primeval  Adam  and 
Eve  were  created  by  the  Supreme  Being  in  the 
waters  of  a  northern  sea.  They  came  up  out 
of  the  water  upon  the  land,  which  they  found  to 
be  soft  and  miry.  They  traveled  southward  for 
many  moons  in  search  of  land  suitable  for  their 
residence  and  where  they  could  obtain  susten- 
ance from  the  earth.  This  they  found  at  last  on 
the  mountain  sides  in  Southern  California. 

Some  of  the  Indian  myths  when  divested  of 
their  crudities  and  ideas  clothed  in  fitting 
language  are  as  poetical  as  those  of  Greece  or 
Scandinavia.  The  following  one  which  Hugo 
Reid  found  among  the  San  Gabriel  Indians 
bears  a  striking  resemblance  to  the  Grecian 
myths  of  Orpheus  and  Eurydice  but  it  is  not  at 
all  probable  that  the  Indians  ever  heard  the 
Grecian  fable.  Ages  ago,  so  runs  this  Indian 
myth,  a  powerful  people  dwelt  on  the  banks  of 
the  Arroyo  Seco  and  hunted  over  the  hills  and 
plains  of  what  are  now  our  modern  Pasadena 
and  the  valley  of  San  Fernando.  They  com- 
mitted a  grievous  crime  against  the  Great  Spirit. 
A  pestilence  destroyed  them  all  save  a  boy  and 
girl  who  were  saved  by  a  foster  mother  pos- 
sessed of  supernatural  powers.  They  grew  to 
manhood  and  womanhood  and  became  husband 
and  wife.  Their  devotion  to  each  other  angered 
the  foster  mother,  who  fancied  herself  neglected. 
She  plotted  to  destroy  the  wife.  The  young 
woman,  divining  her  fate,  told  her  husband  that 
should  he  at  any  time  feel  a  tear  drop  on  his 
shoulder,  he  might  know  that  she  was  dead. 
While  he  was  away  hunting  the  dread  signal 
came.  He  hastened  back  to  destroy  the  hag  who 
had  brought  death  to  his  wife,  but  the  sorceress 
had  escaped.  Disconsolate  he  threw  himself  on 
the  grave  of  his  wife.  For  three  days  he  neither 
ate  nor  drank.     On  the  third  day  a  whirlwind 


arose  from  the  grave  and  moved  toward  the 
south.  Perceiving  in  it  the  form  of  his  wife,  he 
hastened  on  until  he  overtook  it.  Then  a  voice 
came  out  of  the  cloud  saying:  "Whither  I  go, 
thou  canst  not  come.  Thou  art  of  earth  but  I 
am  dead  to  the  world.  Return,  my  husband, 
return!"  He  plead  piteously  to  be  taken  with 
her.  She  consenting,  he  was  wrapt  in  the  cloud 
with  her  and  borne  across  the  illimitable  sea  that 
separates  the  abode  of  the  living  from  that  of 
the  dead.  When  they  reached  the  realms  of 
ghosts  a  spirit  voice  said:  "Sister,  thou  comest 
to  us  with  an  odor  of  earth;  what  dost  thou 
bring?"  Then  she  confessed  that  she  had 
brought  her  living  husband.  "Take  him  away!" 
said  a  voice  stern  and  commanding.  She  plead 
that  he  might  remain  and  recounted  his  many 
virtues.  To  test  his  virtues,  the  spirits  gave  him 
four  labors.  First  to  bring  a  feather  from  the 
top  of  a  pole  so  high  that  its  summit  was  in- 
visible. Xext  to  split  a  hair  of  great  length  and 
exceeding  fineness ;  third  to  make  on  the  ground 
a  map  of  the  constellation  of  the  lesser  bear  and 
locate  the  north  star  and  last  to  slay  the  celestial 
deer  that  had  the  form  of  black  beetles  and  were 
exceedingly  swift.  With  the  aid  of  his  wife  he 
accomplished  all  the  tasks. 

But  ne)  mortal  was  allowed  to  dwell  in  the 
abodes  of  death.  "Take  thou  thy  wife  and  re- 
turn with  her  to  the  earth."  said  the  spirit.  "Vet 
remember,  thou  shalt  not  -peak  to  her:  thou 
shah  not  touch  her  until  three  suns  have  | 
A  penalty  awaits  thy  disobedience."  He  prom 
ised.  They  pass  from  the  spirit  land  and  travel 
to  the  confines  of  matter.  By  day  she  is  invis- 
ible but  by  the  flickering  light  of  his  camp-fire 
lie  sees  tlie  dim  outline  .if  her  form.  Three  days 
pa--.  As  the  sun  sinks  behind  the  western  hills 
he  builds  his  camp-fire.  She  appears  ' 
him  in  all  the  beauty  of  life,  lie  stretches  forth 
his  anus  to  embrace  her.  She  is  snatched  from 
his  grasp.  Although  invisible  to  him  yet  the 
upper  rim  of  the  great  orb  of  day  hung  above 
the  western  \  erge.  1  le  hid  bn  iken  hi 
ise.  Like  Orpheus,  disconsolate,  he  wai 
over  the  earth  until,  relenting,  the  spirit-  senl 
their  servant  Heath  to  bring  him  to  Tecupar 
i  I  leaven). 

Idie  following  myth  of  the  mountain   lndian< 


56 


HISTORICAL   AXD    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


of  the  north  bears  a  strong  resemblance  to  the 
Norse  fable  of  Gyoll  the  River  of  Death  and  its 
glittering  bridge,  over  which  the  spirits  of  the 
dead  pass  to  Hel,  the  land  of  spirits.  The  In- 
dian, however,  had  no  idea  of  any  kind  of  a 
bridge  except  a  foot  log  across  a  stream.  The 
myth  in  a  crude  form  was  narrated  to  me  many 
years  ago  by  an  old  pioneer. 

According  to  this  myth  when  an  Indian  died 
his  spirit  form  was  conducted  by  an  unseen 
guide  over  a  mountain  trail  unknown  and  inac- 
cessible to  mortals,  to  the  rapidly  flowing  river 
which  separated  the  abode  of  the  living  from 
that  of  the  dead.  As  the  trail  descended  to  the 
river  it  branched  to  the  right  and  left.  The  right 
hand  path  led  to  a  foot  bridge  made  of  the  mas- 


sive trunk  of  a  rough  barked  pine  which  spanned 
the  Indian  styx;  the  left  led  to  a  slender,  fresh 
peeled  birch  pole  that  hung  high  above  the  roar- 
ing torrent.  At  the  parting  of  the  trail  an  in- 
exorable fate  forced  the  bad  to  the  left,  while 
the  spirit  form  of  the  good  passed  on  to  the 
right  and  over  the  rough  barked  pine  to  the 
happy  hunting  grounds,  the  Indian  heaven.  The 
bad  reaching  the  river's  brink  and  gazing  long- 
ingly upon  the  delights  beyond,  essayed  to  cross 
the  slippery  pole — a  slip,  a  slide,  a  clutch  at 
empty  space,  and  the  ghostly  spirit  form  was 
hurled  into  the  mad  torrent  below,  and  was 
borne  by  the  rushing  waters  into  a  vast  lethean 
lake  where  it  sunk  beneath  the  waves  and  was 
blotted  from  existence  forever. 


CHAPTER   V. 


FRANCISCAN    MISSIONS    OF    ALTA    CALIFORNIA. 
Sax  Diego  de  Alcala'. 


THE  two  objective  points  chosen  by  Vis- 
itador  General  Galvez  and  President 
Junipero  Serra  to  begin  the  spiritual 
conquest  and  civilization  of  the  savages  of  Alia 
California,  were  San  Diego  and  .Monterey.  The 
expeditions  sent  by  land  and  sea  were  all  united 
at  San  Diego  July  i,  1769.  Father  Serra  lost  no 
time  in  beginning  the  founding  of  mi  sions. 
<  Mi  i  he  [6th  <>f  Jul\',  1769,  he  founded  the  mis- 
sion of  San  Diego  de  Alcala.  It  was  the  first 
link  in  the  chain  of  missionary  establishments 
that  eventually  stretched  northward  from  San 
Diego  tn  Solano,  a  distance  "i  seven  hundred 
miles,  a  chain  that  was  fifty-five  years  in  forging. 
The  first  site  of  tin-  San  Diego  mission  was  at 
a  place  called  by  the  Indian-  "I  osoy."  It  was 
located  near  the  presidio  established  by  Gov- 
ernor Portola  before  lie  sel  mi:  in  search  of 
Monterey.  The  locality  is  now  known  as  Old 
Town. 

Temporary   buildings   were   erected   hen    but 

proved  unsuitable  and  in  August, 

1771.    tin-    mission     was     removed    about    two 

up  the  San  I  )iegi  1  river  to  a  place  called 

by  the  natives  "Nipaguay."    Here  a  dwelling  for 


the    padres,    a    store     house,     a     smithy     and    a 

•" Ii  11  church   18x57  tl-'et  were  erected. 

The  mission  buildings  at  Cosoy  were  given 
up  to  the  presidio  except  two  rooms,  one  for 
the  visiting  priests  and  the  other  for  a  temporary 
store  room  for  mission  supplies  coming  by  sea. 
The  missionaries  had  been  fairly  successful  in 
the  conversions  of  the  natives  and  some  prog- 
ress had  been  made  in  teaching  them  to  labor. 
(  In  the  night  of  November  4.  1775.  without  any 
previous  warning,  the  gentiles  or  unconverted 
Indians  in  great  numbers  attacked  the  mission. 
(  tne  of  the  friars,  I-"ra\  Funster,  escaped  to  the 
soldiers'  quarters;  the  other.  Father  Jaume,  was 
killed  by  the  savages.  The  blacksmith  also  was 
killed;  the  carpenter  succeeded  in  reaching  the 
soldiers.  The  Indians  set  fire  to  the  buildings 
which  were  nearly  all  of  wood.  The  soldiers,  the 
priest  and  carpenter  were  driven  into  a  small 
adobe  building  that  had  been  used  as  a  kitchen. 
Two  nf  the  soldiers  were  wounded.  The  cor- 
poral, one  soldier  ami  the  carpenter  were  all 
that  were  left  to  hold  at  bay  a  thousand  howl- 
ing fiends.  The  corporal,  who  was  a  sharp 
shooter,   did  deadly   execution  on  the  savatjes. 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


57 


Father  Funster  saved  the  defenders  from  being 
blown  to  pieces  by  the  explosion  of  a  fifty  pound 
sack  of  gunpowder.  He  spread  his  cloak  over 
the  sack  and  sat  on  it,  thus  preventing  the  pow- 
der from  being  ignited  by  the  sparks  of  the 
burning  building.  The  fight  lasted  till  daylight, 
when  the  hostiles  fled.  The  Christian  Indians 
who  professed  to  have  been  coerced  by  the  sav- 
ages then  appeared  and  made  many  protesta- 
tions of  sorrow  at  what  had  happened.  The  mili- 
tary commander  was  not  satisfied  that  they  were 
innocent  but  the  padres  believed  them.  New 
buildings  were  erected  at  the  same  place,  the 
soldiers  of  the  presidio  for  a  time  assisting  the 
Indians  in  their  erection. 

The  mission  was  fairly  prosperous.  In  1800 
the  cattle  numbered  6,960  and  the  agricultural 
products  amounted  to  2,600  bushels.  From 
1769  to  1834  there  were  6,638  persons  baptized 
and  4,428  buried.  The  largest  number  of  cat- 
tle possessed  by  the  mission  at  one  time  was 
9,245  head  in  1822.  The  old  building  now  stand- 
ing on  the  mission  site  at  the  head  of  the  valley 
is  the  third  church  erected  there.  The  first, 
built  of  wood  and  roofed  with  tiles,  was  erected 
in  1774;  the  second,  built  of  adobe,  was  com- 
pleted in  1780  (the  walls  of  this  were  badly 
cracked  by  an  earthquake  in  1803);  the  third  was 
begun  in  1808  and  dedicated  November  12, 
1813.     The  mission  was  secularized  in  1834. 

SAN    CARLOS   DE    BORROMEO. 

As  narrated  in  a  former  chapter,  Governor 
Portola,  who  with  a  small  force  had  set  out  from 
San  Diego  to  find  Monterey  Bay,  reached  that 
port  May  24,  1770.  Father  Serra,  who  came 
up  by  sea  on  the  San  Antonia,  arrived  at  the 
same  place  May  31.  All  things  being  in  readi- 
ness the  Presidio  of  Monterey  and  the  mission 
of  San  Carlos  de  Borromeo  were  founded  on 
the  same  day — June  3,  1770.  The  boom  of  ar- 
tillery and  the  roar  of  musketry  accompani- 
ments to  the  service  of  the  double  founding 
frightened  the  Indians  away  from  the  mission 
and  it  was  some  time  before  the  savages  could 
muster  courage  to  return.  In  June,  1771 ,  the 
site  of  the  mission  was  moved  to  the  Carmelo 
river.  This  was  done  by  Father  Serra  to  re- 
move the  neophytes  from  the  contaminating  in- 


fluence of  the  soldiers  at  the  presidio.  The  erec- 
tion of  the  stone  church  still  standing  was  be- 
gun in  1793.  It  was  completed  and  dedicated 
in  1797.  The  largest  neophyte  population  at 
San  Carlos  was  reached  in  1794,  when  it  num- 
bered nine  hundred  and  seventy-one.  Between 
1800  and  1810  it  declined  to  seven  hundred  and 
forty-seven.  In  1820  the  population  had  de- 
creased to  three  hundred  and  eighty-one  and 
at  the  end  of  the  next  decade  it  had  fallen  to 
two  hundred  and  nine.  In  1834,  when  the  de- 
cree of  secularization  was  put  in  force,  there  were 
about  one  hundred  and  fifty  neophytes  at  the 
mission.  At  the  rate  of  decrease  under  mission 
rule,  a  few  more  years  would  have  pro- 
duced the  same  result  that  secularization  did, 
namely,  the  extinction  of  the  mission  Indian. 

SAN    ANTONIO   DE    PADUA. 

The  third  mission  founded  in  California  was 
San  Antonio  de  Padua.  It  was  located  about 
twenty-five  leagues  from  Monterey.  Here,  on 
the  14th  of  June,  1771,  in  La  Canada  de  los 
Robles,  the  canon  of  oaks  beneath  a  shelter  of 
(■ranches,  Father  Serra  performed  the  services 
of  founding.  The  Indians  seem  to  have  been 
more  tractable  than  those  of  San  Diego  or  Mon- 
terey. The  first  convert  was  baptized  one 
month  after  the  establishment  of  the  mission. 
San  Antonio  attained  the  highest  limit  of  its 
neophyte  population  in  1805,  when  it  had 
twelve  hundred  and  ninety-six  souls  within  its 
fold.  In  183 1  there  were  six  hundred  and  sixty- 
one  Indians  at  or  near  the  mission.  In  1834,  the 
date  of  secularization,  there  were  five  hundred 
and  sixty-seven.  After  its  disestablishment  the 
property  of  the  mission  was  quickly  squandered 
through  inefficient  administrators.  The  build- 
ings are  in  ruins. 

SAN    GABRIEL    ARCANGEL. 

San  Gabriel  Arcangel  was  the  fourth  mission 
founded  in  California.  Father  Junipero  Serra. 
as  previously  narrated,  had  gone  north  in  1770 
and  founded  the  mission  of  San  Carlos  Bor- 
romeo on  Monterey  Pay  and  the  following  year 
he  established  the  mi  n    Vntonio  de 

Padua  on  the  Salinas  river  about  twenty-five 
leagues  south  of  Monterey. 


5S 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL  RECORD. 


(  >n  the  6th  of  August,  1771,  a  cavalcade  of 
soldiers  and  musketeers  escorting  Padres 
Somero  and  Cambon  set  out  from  San  Diego 
over  the  trail  made  by  Portola's  expedition  in 
1769  (when  it  went  north  in  search  of  Monterey 
Bay)  to  found  a  new  mission  on  the  River  Jesus 
de  los  Temblores  or  to  give  it  its  full  name,  El 
Rio  del  Dulcisimo  Nombre  de  Jesus  de  los 
Temblores,  the  river  of  the  sweetest  name  of 
Jesus  of  the  Earthquakes.  Not  finding  a  suit- 
able location  on  that  river  (now  the  Santa  Ana) 
they  pushed  on  to  the  Rio  San  Miguel,  also 
known  as  the  Rio  de  los  Temblores.  Here 
they  selected  a  site  where  wood  and  water  were 
abundant.  A  stockade  of  poles  was  built  inclos- 
ing a  square  within  which  a  church  was  erected, 
covered  with  boughs. 

September  8,  1 771 ,  the  mission  was  formally 
founded  and  dedicated  to  the  archangel  Gabriel. 
The  Indians  who  at  the  coming  of  the  Spaniards 
were  docile  and  friendly,  a  few  days  after  the 
founding  of  the  mission  suddenly  attacked  two 
soldiers  who  were  guarding  the  horses.  One  of 
these  soldiers  had  outraged  the  wife  of  the  chief 
who  led  the  attack.  The  soldier  who  committed 
the  crime  killed  the  chieftain  with  a  musket  ball 
and  the  other  Indians  fled.  The  soldiers  then 
cut  off  the  chief's  head  and  fastened  it  to  a  pole 
at  the  presidio  gate.  From  all  accounts  the  sol- 
diers at  this  mission  were  more  brutal  and  bar- 
barous than  the  Indians  and  more  in  need  of 
missionaries  to  convert  them  than  the  Indians. 
The  progress  of  the  mission  was  slow.  At  the 
end  of  the  second  year  only  seventy-three  chil- 
dren and  adults  had  been  baptized.  Father  Serra 
attributed  the  lack  of  conversions  to  the  bad 
(.induct  nf  the  soldiers. 

The  first  buildings  at  the  mission  Yicja  were 
all  of  wood.  The  church  was  45x18  feet,  built  of 
logs  and  covered  with  tule  thatch.  The  church 
and  other  wooden  buildings  used  by  the  padres 
stood  within  a  square  inclosed  by  pointed  stakes. 
In  1776.  five  years  after  its  founding,  the  mis- 
sion was  moved  from  its  first  location  to  a  new 
site  about  a  league  distant  from  the  old  one. 
'Idle  old  site  was  subject  to  overllow  by  the 
river.  The  adobe  ruins  pointed  out  to  tourists 
as  thr  foundations  of  the  old  mission  are  the 
debris  of  a  building  erected  for  a  ranch  house 


about  sixty  years  ago.  The  buildings  at  the 
mission  Yieja  were  all  of  wood  and  no  trace  of 
them  remains.  A  chapel  was  first  built  at  the 
new  site.  It  was  replaced  by  a  church  built  of 
adobes  one  hundred  and  eight  feet  long  by 
twenty-one  feet  wide.  The  present  stone  church, 
begun  about  1794,  and  completed  about  1806, 
is  the  fourth  church  erected. 

The  mission  attained  the  acme  of  its  impor- 
tance in  1817.  when  there  were  seventeen  hun- 
dred and  one  neophytes  in  the  mission  fold. 

The  largest  grain  crop  raised  at  any  mission 
was  that  harvested  at  San  Gabriel  in  1821,  which 
amounted  to  29,400  bushels.  The  number  of  cat- 
tle belonging  to  the  mission  in  1830  was  25,725. 
During  the  whole  period  of  the  mission's  exist- 
ence, i.  e.,  from  1771  to  1834,  according  to  sta- 
tistics compiled  by  Bancroft  from  mission  rec- 
ords, the  total  number  of  baptisms  was  7,854, 
of  which  4,355  were  Indian  adults  and  2,459 
were  Indian  children  and  the  remainder  gente  de 
razon  or  people  of  reason.  The  deaths  were 
5.656,  of  which  2,916  were  Indian  adults  and 
2,363  Indian  children.  If  all  the  Indian  children 
born  were  baptized  it  would  seem  (if  the  sta- 
tistics are  correct)  that  but  very  few  ever  grew 
up  to  manhood  and  womanhood.  In  1834,  the 
year  of  its  secularization,  its  neophyte  popula- 
tion was  1,320. 

The  missionaries  of  San  Gabriel  established 
a  station  at  old  San  Bernardino  about  1820.  It 
was  not  an  asistencia  like  pala,  but  merely  an 
agricultural  station  or  ranch  headquarters.  The 
buildings  were  destroyed  by  the  Indians  in  1834. 

SAX    LUIS    OBISPO  DE   TOLOSA. 

On  his  journey  southward  in  1782,  President 
Serra  and  Padre  Cavalier,  with  a  small  escort  of 
soldiers  and  a  few  Lower  California  Indians,  on 
September  1,  1772,  founded  the  mission  of  San 
Luis  Obispo  de  Tolosa  (St.  Louis,  Bishop  of 
Tolouse).  The  site  selected  was  on  a  creek 
twenty-five  leagues  southerly  from  San  An- 
tonio. The  soldiers  and  Indians  were  set  at 
work  to  erect  buildings.  Padre  Cavalier  was  left 
in  charge  of  the  mission,  Father  Serra  continu- 
ing his  journey  southward.  This  mission  was 
never  a  very  important  one.  Its  greatest  popu- 
lation  was    in     1803.     when    there    were   eight 


HISTORICAL  AXD    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


59 


hundred  and  fifty-two  neophytes  within  its  juris- 
diction. From  that  time  to  1834  their  number 
declined  to  two  hundred  and  sixty-four.  The 
average  death  rate  was  7.30  per  cent  of  the  pop- 
ulation— a  lower  rate  than  at  some  of  the  more 
populous  missions.  The  adobe  church  built  in 
1793  is  still  in  use,  but  has  been  so  remodeled 
that  it  bears  but  little  resemblance  to  the  church 
of  mission  days. 

SAN    FRANCISCO   DE   ASIS. 

The  expedition  under  command  of  Portola 
in  1769  failed  to  find  Monterey  Bay  but  it  passed 
on  and  discovered  the  great  bay  of  San  Fran- 
cisco. So  far  no  attempt  had  been  made  to 
plant  a  mission  or  presidio  on  its  shores.  Larly 
in  1775,  Lieutenant  Ayala  was  ordered  to  ex- 
plore the  bay  with  a  view  to  forming  a  settle- 
ment near  it.  Rivera  had  previously  explored 
the  land  bordering  on  the  bay  where  the  city 
now  stands.  Captain  Anza,  the  discoverer  of  the 
overland  route  from  Mexico  to  California  via 
the  Colorado  river,  had  recruited  an  expedition 
of  two  hundred  persons  in  Sonora  for  the  pur- 
pose of  forming  a  settlement  at  San  Francisco, 
He  set  out  in  1775  and  reached  Monterey  March 
10,  1776.  A  quarrel  between  him  and  Rivera, 
who  was  in  command  at  Monterey,  defeated  for 
a  time  the  purpose  for  which  the  settlers  had 
been  brought,  and  Anza,  disgusted  with  the 
treatment  he  had  received  from  Rivera,  aban- 
doned the  enterprise.  Anza  had  selected  a  site 
for  a  presidio  at  San  Francisco.  After  his  de- 
parture Rivera  changed  his  policy  of  delay  that 
had  frustrated  all  of  Anza's  plans  and  decided  at 
once  to  proceed  to  the  establishment  of  a  pre- 
sidio. The  presidio  was  formally  founded  Sep- 
tember 17,  1776,  at  wdiat  is  now  known  as  Fort 
Point.  The  ship  San  Carlos  had  brought  a  num- 
ber of  persons;  these  with  the  settlers  who  had 
come  up  from  Monterey  made  an  assemblage  of 
more  than  one  hundred  and  fifty  persons. 

After  the  founding  of  the  presidio  Lieutenant 
Moraga  in  command  of  the  military  and  Captain 
Quiros  el' the  San  Carlos,  set  vigorousl)  at  work 
to  build  a  church  for  the  mission.  A  wooden 
building  having  been  constructed  on  the  oth  of 
October,  1776,  the  mission  was  dedicated. 
Father  Palou  conducting  the  service,  assisted  by 


Fathers  Cambon,  Nocedal  and  Peha.  The  site 
selected  for  the  mission  was  on  the  Laguna  de 
los  Dolores.  The  lands  at  the  mission  were  not 
very  productive.  The  mission,  however,  was 
fairly  prosperous.  In  1820  it  owned  11,240  cat- 
tle and  the  total  product  of  wheat  was  114.480 
bushels.  In  1820  there  were  1,252  neophytes 
attached  to  it.  The  death  rate  was  very  heavy — 
the  average  rate  being  12.4  per  cent  of  the  pop- 
ulation. In  1832  the  population  had  decreased 
to  two  hundred  and  four  and  at  the  time  of 
secularization  it  had  declined  to  one  hundred 
and  fifty.  A  number  of  neophytes  had  been 
taken  to  the  new  mission  of  San  Francisco  So- 
lano. 

SAX    JUAN     CAPISTRANO. 

The  revolt  of  the  Indians  at  San  Diego  de- 
layed the  founding  of  San  Juan  Capistrano  a 
year.  October  30.  1775,  the  initiatory  services 
of  the  founding  had  been  held  when  a  messenger 
came  with  the  news  of  the  uprising  of  the  sav- 
ages and  the  massacre  of  Father  Jaume  and 
others.  The  bells  which  had  been  hung  on  a 
tree  were  taken  down  and  buried.  The  soldiers 
and  the  padres  hastened  to  San  Diego.  Novem- 
ber 1,  177''.  Fathers  Serra,  Mugartegui  and 
Amurrio,  with  an  escort  of  soldiers,  arrived  at 
the  site  formerly  selected.  The  bells  were  dug  up 
and  hung  on  a  tree,  an  enramada  of  boughs  was 
constructed  and  Father  Serra  said  mass.  The 
first  location  of  the  mission  was  several  miles 
northeasterly  from  the  present  site  at  the  foot 
of  the  mountain.  The  abandoned  site  is  still 
known  a  la  Mision  Vieja  (the  Old  Mission). 
Just  when  the  change  of  location  was  made  is 
not  known. 

The  erection  of  a  stone  church  was  begun  in 
February,  1797.  and  completed  in  [806  \ 
master  builder  had  been  brought  from  Mexico 
and  under  his  superintendence  the  neophytes 
did  the  mechanical  labor.  It  was  the  largi 
handsomest  church  in  California  and  was  the 
pride  of  mission  architecture.  The  year  1S12 
was  known  in  California  as  el  ano  de  los  tem- 
earthquakes.  For  months 
the  seismic  disturbance  was  almost  continuous. 
(  )u  Sunday,  December  8,  [812,  a  severe  shock 
threw  down  the  lofty  church  tower,  which 
crashed  through  the  vaulted  roof  on  the  congre- 


i;o 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL    RECORD. 


gation  below.  The  padre  who  was  celebrating 
mass  escaped  through  the  sacristy.  Of  the  fifty 
persons  present  only  live  or  six  escaped.  The 
church  was  never  rebuilt.  "There  is  not  much 
doubt,"  says  Bancroft,  "that  the  disaster  was 
due  rather  to  faulty  construction  than  to  the 
violence  of  the  temblor."  The  edifice  was  of  the 
usual  cruciform  shape,  about  90x180  feet  on 
the  ground,  with  very  thick  walls  and  arched 
dome-like  roof  all  constructed  of  stones  imbed- 
ded in  mortar  or  cement.  The  stones  were  not 
hewn,  but  of  irregular  size  and  shape,  a  kind  of 
structure  evidently  requiring  great  skill  to  en- 
sure solidity.  The  mission  reached  its  maxi- 
mum in  1819;  from  that  on  till  the  date  of  its 
secularization  there  was  a  rapid  decline  in  the 
numbers  of  its  live  stock  and  of  its  neophytes. 

This  was  one  of  the  missions  in  which  Gov- 
ernor Figueroa  tried  his  experiment  of  forming 
Indian  pueblos  of  the  neophytes.  For  a  time 
the  experiment  was  a  partial  success,  but  even- 
tually it  went  the  way  of  all  the  other  missions. 
Its  lands  were  granted  to  private  individuals 
and  the  neophytes  scattered.  Its  picturesque 
ruins  are  a  great  attraction  to  tourists. 

SANTA    CLARA. 

The  mission  of  Santa  Clara  was  founded  Jan- 
uary i_\  1777.  The  site  had  been  selected  some 
time  before  and  two  missionaries  designated  for 
service  at  it,  but  the  comandante  of  the  terri- 
tory. Rivera  y  Moncada,  who  was  an  exceed- 
ingly obstinate  per,-,  in,  had  opposed  the  found- 
ing on  various  pretexts,  but  posititve  orders 
coming  from  the  viceroy  Rivera  did  not  longer 
delay,  so  on  the  6th  of  January,  1777,  a  detach- 
ment of  soldiers  under  Lieutenant  Moraga,  ac- 
companied by  Father  Pefia,  was  sent  from  San 
Francisco  to  the  site  selected  which  was  about 
sixteen  leagues  south  of  San  Francisco.  Here 
under  an  enramada  the  services  of  dedication 
were  held.  The  Indians  were  not  averse  to  re- 
ceiving a  new  religion  and  at  the  close  of  the 
year   sixty-seven   had   been   baptized. 

The  mission  was  quite  prosperous  and  be- 
came one  of  the  most  important  in  the  territory. 
Il  was  located  in  the  heart  of  a  rich  agricul- 
tural district.  The  total  product  of  wheat  was 
175,800  bushels.     In  [828  the  mission  docks  and 


herds    numbered    over    30,000    animals.  The 

neophyte   population   in    1S27   was    1,464.  The 

death  rate  was  high,  averaging   12.63  Per  cent 

of  the  population.     The  total   number  of  bap- 
tisms was  8,640;  number  of  deaths  6,950.     In 

1834    the     population     had     declined    to  800. 
Secularization  was  effected  in    1837. 

SAN    BUENAVENTURA. 

The  founding  of  San  Buenaventura  had  been 
long  delayed.  It  was  to  have  been  among  the 
first  missions  founded  by  Father  Serra;  it  proved 
to  be  his  last.  On  the  26th  of  March,  1782, 
Governor  de  Neve,  accompanied  by  Father 
Serra  (who  had  come  down  afoot  from  San 
Carlos),  and  Father  Cambon,  with  a  convoy  of 
soldiers  and  a  number  of  neophytes,  set  out 
from  San  Gabriel  to  found  the  mission.  At  the 
first  camping  place  Governor  de  Neve  was  re- 
called to  San  Gabriel  by  a  message  from  Col. 
Pedro  Fazes,  informing  him  of  the  orders  of  the 
council  of  war  to  proceed  against  the  Yumas 
who  had  the  previous  year  destroyed  the  two 
missions  on  the  Colorado  river  and  massacred 
the  missionaries. 

On  the  29th,  the  remainder  of  the  company 
reached  a  place  on  the  coast  named  by  Portola 
in  1769,  Asuncion  de  Nuestra  Sehora,  which 
had  for  some  time  been  selected  for  a  mission 
site.  Near  it  was  a  large  Indian  rancheria.  On 
Easter  Sunday,  .March  31st,  the  mission  was  for- 
mally founded  with  the  usual  ceremonies  and 
dedicated  to  San  Buenaventura  (Giovanni  de 
Fidanza  of  Tuscany),  a  follower  of  St.  Francis, 
the  founder  of  the  Franciscans. 

The  progress  of  the  mission  was  slow  at  first, 
only  two  adults  were  baptized  in  1782,  the 
yeai  of  its  founding.  The  first  buildings  built 
oi  wood  were  destroyed  by  fire.  The  church 
still  used  for  service,  built  of  brick  and  adobe, 
was  completed  and  dedicated.  September  9,  1809. 
The  earthquake  of  December  8,  1812,  damaged 
the  church  to  such  an  extent  that  the  tower 
and  part  of  the  facade  had  to  be  rebuilt.  After 
the  earthquake  the  whole  site  of  the  mission 
for  a  time  seemed  to  be  sinking.  The  inhabi- 
tants, fearful  of  being  engulfed  by  the  sea,  re- 
moved to  San  Joaquin  \  Santa  Ana,  where  they 
remained     several     months.      The     mission    at- 


HISTORICAL    AND    BIOGRAPHICAL    RECORD. 


61 


tained  its  greatest  prosperity  in  1816,  when  its 
neophyte  population  numbered  1.330  and  it 
owned  23.400  cattle. 

SAXTA  BARBARA. 

Governor  Felipe  de  Neve  founded  the  presidio 
of  Santa  Barbara  April  21,  1782.  Father  Sena 
had  hoped  to  found  the  mission  at  the  same  time, 
but  in  ihis  he  was  disappointed.  His  death  in 
1784  still  further  delayed  the  founding  and  it 
was  not  until  the  latter  part  of  1786  that  every- 
thing was  in  readiness  for  the  establishing  of 
the  new  mission.  On  the  22d  of  November 
Father  Lasuen,  who  had  succeeded  Father 
Serra  as  president  of  the  missions,  arrived  at 
Santa  Barbara,  accompanied  by  two  missiona- 
ries recently  from  Mexico.  He  selected  a  site 
about  a  mile  distant  from  the  presidio.  The 
place  was  called  Taynagan  (Rocky  Hill)  by  the 
Indians.  There  was  a  plentiful  supply  of  stone 
on  the  site  for  building  and  an  abundance  of 
water  for  irrigation. 

On  the  15th  of  December,  1786,  Father 
Lasuen.  in  a  hut  of  boughs,  celebrated  the  first 
mass;  but  December  4,  the  day  that  the  fiesta  of 
Santa  Barbara  is  commemorated,  is  considered 
the  date  of  its  founding.  Fart  of  the  services 
were  held  on  that  day.  A  chapel  built  of  adobes 
and  roofed  with  thatch  was  erected  in  1787.  Sev- 
eral other  buildings  of  adobe  were  erected  the 
same  year.  In  1788,  tile  took  the  place  of 
thatch.  In  1789,  a  second  church,  much  larger 
than  the  first,  was  built.  A  third  church  of  adobe 
was  commenced  in  1793  and  finished  in  1794. 
A  brick  portico  was  added  in  1795  and  the  walls 
plastered. 

The  great  earthquake  of  December,  1812,  de- 
molished the  mission  church  and  destroyed 
nearly  all  the  buildings.  The  years  1813  and 
1814  were  spent  in  removing  the  debris  of  the 
ruined  buildings  and  in  preparing  for  the  erec- 
tion of  new  ones.  The  erection  of  the  presenl 
mission  church  was  begun  in  181 5.  It  was  com- 
pleted and  dedicated  September  10,  1820. 

Father  Caballeria,  in  his  History  of  Santa 
Barbara,  gives  the  dimensions  of  the  church  as. 
follows:  "Length  (includintj  walls),  sixty  varas; 
width,  fourteen  varas;  height,  ten  varas  (a  vara 
is  thirty-four  inches)."     The  walls  arc  of  stone 


and  rest  on  a  foundation  of  rock  and  cement. 
They  are  six  feet  thick  and  are  further  strength- 
ened by  buttresses.  Notwithstanding  the  build- 
ing has  withstood  the  storms  of  four  score  years, 
it  is  still  in  an  excellent  state  of  preservation. 
Its  exterior  has  not  been  disfigured  by  attempts 
at  modernizing. 

The  highest  neophyte  population  was  reached 
at  Santa  Barbara  in  1803,  when  it  numbered 
1,792.  The  largest  number  of  cattle  was  5,200  in 
1809.  In  1834,  the  year  of  secularization,  the 
neophytes  numbered  556,  which  was  a  decrease 
of  155  from  the  number  in  1830.  At  such  a  rate 
of  decrease  it  would  not,  even  if  mission  rule 
had  continued,  have  taken  more  than  a  dozen 
years  to  depopulate  the  mission. 

LA    PURISIMA    CONCEPCIOX. 

Two  missions,  San  Buenaventura  and  Santa 
Barbara,  had  been  founded  on  the  Santa  Bar- 
bara channel  in  accordance  with  Neve's  report  of 
1777,  in  which  he  recommended  the  founding  of 
three  missions  and  a  presidio  in  that  district. 
It  was  the  intention  of  General  La  Croix  to  con- 
duct these  on  a  different  plan  from  that  prevail- 
ing in  the  older  missions.  The  natives  were  not 
to  be  gathered  into  a  missionary  establishment, 
but  were  to  remain  in  their  rancherias,  which 
were  to  be  converted  into  mission  pueblos.  The 
Indians  were  to  receive  instruction  in  religion, 
industrial  arts  and  self-government  while  com- 
paratively free  from  restraint.  The  plan  which 
no  doubt  originated  with  Governor  de  Neve, 
was  a  good  one  theoretically,  and  possibly  might 
have  been  practically.  The  missionaries  were 
bitterly  opposed  to  it.  Unfortunately  it  was 
tried  first  in  the  Colorado  river  missions  among 
the  fierce  and  treacherous  Vumas.  The  mas- 
sacre of  the  padres  and  soldiers  of  these  mis- 
sions was  attributed  to  this  innovation. 

In  establishing  the  channel  missions  the  mis- 
sionaries opposed  tlu  inauguration  of  this  plan 
and  by  their  persistence  succeeded  in  setting  it 
aside;  and  the  old  system  was  adopted.  La 
Purisima  Concepcion.  or  the  Immaculate  Con- 
ception of  the  Blessed  Virgin,  the  third  of  the 
channel  mission-,  was  founded  December  8, 
17S7.  by  Father  Lasuen  at  a  place  called  by  the 
natives  Algsacupi.      Its  location  i-  about   twelve 


62 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL    RECORD. 


miles  from  the  ocean  on  the  Santa  Ynez  river. 
Three  years  after  its  founding  three  hundred 
converts  had  been  baptized  but  not  all  of  them 
lived  at  the  mission.  The  first  church  was  a 
temporary  structure.  The  second  church,  built 
of  adobe  and  roofed  with  tile,  was  completed  in 
1802.  December  21,  1812.  an  earthquake  de- 
molished the  church  and  also  about  one  hundred 
adobe  houses  of  the  neophytes.  A  site  across 
the  river  and  about  four  miles  distant  from  the 
former  one,  was  selected  for  new  buildings.  A 
temporary  building  for  a  church  was  erected 
there.  A  new  church,  built  of  adobe  and  roofed 
with  tile,  was  completed  and  dedicated  in  t8i8. 

The  Indians  revolted  in  1824  and  damage  1 
the  building.  They  took  possession  of  it  and  a 
battle  lasting  four  hours  was  fought  between  one 
hundred  and  thirty  soldiers  and  four  hundred 
Indians.  The  neophytes  cut  loop  holes  in  the 
church  and  used  two  old  rusty  cannon  and  a 
few  guns  they  possessed;  but,  unused  to  lire 
anus,  they  were  routed  with  the  loss  of  several 
killed.  During  the  revolt  which  lasted  several 
months  four  white  men  and  fifteen  or  twenty  In- 
dians were  killed.  The  hostiles,  most  of  whom 
lied  to  the  Tulares,  were  finally  subdued.  The 
leaders  were  punished  with  imprisonment  and 
the  others  returned  in  their  missions. 

This  mission's  population  was  largest  in  1804, 
•  when  it  numbered  1,520.  In  1834  there  were  but 
407  neophytes  connected  with  it.  It  was  secular- 
ized in  February,  1835.  During  mission  rule 
from  1787  to  1834,  the  total  number  of  Indian 
children  baptized  was  1 .402 :  died  902,  which  was 
a  lower  death  rale  than  at  most  of  the  southern 


Santa  Cruz,  one  o)  I     t  of  the  twenty- 

one  missions  of  California,  was  founded  Septem- 
ber 2},,  [790.  The  mission  was  never  very  pros- 
perous. In  [798  many  of  the  neophyt<  di 
and  the  same  year  a  flood  covered  the 
fields  and  damaged  the  church.  In  1812 
the  neophytes  murdered  the  missionary  in 
charge,  Padre  Andres  Quintana.  They  claimed 
that  he  had  treated  them  with  great  cruelly. 
Five  of  those  implicated  in  the  murder  received 
two  hundred  lashes  each  and  were  sentenced  to 
work  in  chains  from  two  to  ten  years.     Only 


one  survived  the  punishment.  The  maximum 
of  its  population  was  reached  in  1798,  when 
there  were  six  hundred  and  forty-four  Indians 
in  the  mission  fold.  The  total  number  bap- 
tized from  the  date  of  its  founding  to  1834  was 
2,466;  the  total  number  of  deaths  was  2,034.  The 
average  death  rate  was  10.93  Per  cent  °f  tlle 
population.  At  the  time  of  its  secularization  in 
[834  there  were  only  two  hundred  and  fifty  In- 
dians belonging  to  the  mission. 

LA    SOLEDAD. 

The  mission  of  our  Lady  of  Solitude  was 
founded  September  29,  1791.  The  site  selected 
had  borne  the  name  Soledad  (solitude)  ever 
since  the  first  exploration  of  the  country.  The 
location  was  thirty  miles  northeast  of  San  Car- 
los de  Monterey.  La  Soledad,  by  which  name 
it  was  generally  known,  was  unfortunate  in  its 
early  missionaries.  One  of  them,  Padre  Gracia, 
was  supposed  to  be  insane  and  the  other,  Padre 
Rubi,  was  very  immoral.  Rubi  was  later  on  ex- 
pelled from  his  college  for  licentiousness.  At 
the  close  of  the  century  the  mission  had  become 
fairly  prosperous,  but  in  1802  an  epidemic  broke 
out  and  five  or  six  deaths  occurred  daily.  The 
Indians  in  alarm  fled  from  the  mission.  The 
largest  population  of  the  mission  was  seven 
hundred  and  twenty-five  in  1805.  At  the  time 
of  secularization  its  population  had  decreased  to 
three  hundred.  The  total  number  of  baptisms 
during  its  existence  was  2,222;  number  of  deaths 
1.803. 

SAX    JOSE. 

St.  Joseph  had  been  designated  by  the  visita- 
dor  General  Galvez  and  Father  Junipero  Serra 
as  the  patron  saint  of  the  mission  colonization  of 
California.  Thirteen  missions  had  been  founded 
and  yet  none  had  been  dedicated  to  San  Jose. 
( )rders  came  from  Mexico  that  one  be  estab- 
lished  and  named  for  him.  Accordingly  a  de- 
tail of  a  corporal  and  five  men,  accompanied  by 
Father  Lasuen,  president  of  the  missions,  pro- 
ceeded to  the  site  selected,  which  was  about 
twelve  miles  northerly  from  the  pueblo  of  San 
Jose.  There,  on  June  11,  1707.  the  mission  was 
founded.  The  mission  was  well  located  agricul- 
turally and  became  one  of  the  most  prosperous 
in   California.     In   1820  it  had  a  population  of 


HISTORICAL  AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


1,754,  the  highest  of  any  mission  except  San 
Luis  Rey.  The  total  number  of  baptisms  from 
its  founding  to  1834  was  6,737;  deaths  5,109. 
Secularization  was  effected  in  1836-37.  The  to- 
tal valuation  of  the  mission  property,  not  in- 
cluding lands  or  the  church,  was  $155,000. 

SAN    JUAN    BAUTISTA. 

In  May,  1797,  Governor  Borica  ordered  the 
comandante  at  Monterey  to  detail  a  corporal 
and  five  soldiers  to  proceed  to  a  site  that  had 
been  previously  chosen  for  a  mission  which  was 
about  ten  leagues  northeast  from  Monterey. 
Here  the  soldiers  erected  of  wood  a  church, 
priest's  house,  granary  and  guard  house.  June 
24,  1797,  President  Lasuen,  assisted  by  Fathers 
Catala  and  Martiari,  founded  the  mission  of 
San  Juan  Bautista  (St.  John  the  Baptist).  At 
the  close  of  the  year,  eighty-five  converts  had 
been  baptized.  The  neighboring  Indian  tribes 
were  hostile  and  some  of  them  had  to  be  killed 
before  others  learned  to  behave  themselves.  A 
new  church,  measuring  60x160  feet,  was  com- 
pleted and  dedicated  in  1812.  San  Juan  was  the 
only  mission  whose  population  increased  between 
1820  and  1830.  This  was  due  to  the  fact  that  its 
numbers  were  recruited  from  the  eastern  tribes, 
its  location  being  favorable  for  obtaining  new- 
recruits  from  the  gentiles.  The  largest  popula- 
tion it  ever  reached  was  1,248  in  1823.  In  1834 
there  were  but  850  neophytes  at  the  mission. 

SAN    MIGUEL. 

Midway  between  the  old  missions  of  San  An- 
tonio and  San  Luis  Obispo,  on  the  25th  of  July, 
1797,  was  founded  the  mission  of  San  Miguel 
Arcangel.  The  two  old  missions  contributed 
horses,  cattle  and  sheep  to  start  the  new  one. 
The  mission  had  a  propitious  beginning;  fifteen 
children  were  baptized  on  the  day  the  mission 
was  founded.  At  the  close  of  the  century  the 
number  of  converts  reached  three  hundred  and 
eighty-five,  of  whom  fifty-three  had  died.  The 
mission  population  numbered  1,076  in  1X14: 
after  that  it  steadily  declined  until,  in  1834,  there 
were  only  599  attached  to  the  establishment. 
Total  number  of  baptisms  was  2,588:  deaths 
2,038.  The  average  death  rate  was  6.91  per 
cent  of  the   population,  the  lowest   rate   in  any 


of  the  missions.     The  mission  was  secularized 
in    1836. 

SAN    FERNANDO    REY    DE    ESPANA. 

In  the  closing  years  of  the  century  explora- 
tions were  made  for  new  mission  sites  in  Cali- 
fornia. These  were  to  be  located  between  mis- 
sions already  founded.  Among  those  selected 
at  that  time  was  the  site  of  the  mission  San  Fer- 
nando on  the  Encino  Rancho,  then  occupied  by 
Francisco  Reyes.  Reyes  surrendered  whatever 
right  he  had  to  the  land  and  the  padres  occupied 
his  house  for  a  dwelling  while  new  buildings 
were     in  the  course  of  erection. 

September  8.  1797,  with  the  usual  ceremo- 
nies, the  mission  was  founded  by  President 
Lasuen,  assisted  by  Father  Dumetz.  According 
tc  instructions  from  Mexico  it  was  dedicated  to 
San  Fernando  Rey  de  Esparia  (Fernando  III., 
King  of  Spain,  12 17-125 1).  At  the  end  of  the 
year  1797,  fifty-five  converts  had  been  gathered 
into  the  mission  fold  and  at  the  end  of  the  cen- 
tury three  hundred  and  fifty-two  had  been  bap- 
tized. 

The  adobe  church  began  before  the  close  of 
the  century  was  completed  and  dedicated  in  De- 
cember, 1806.  It  had  a  tiled  roof.  It  was  but 
slightly  injured  by  the  great  earthquakes  of  De- 
cember, 1812,  which  were  so  destructive  to  the 
mission  buildings  at  San  Juan  Capistrano,  Santa 
Barbara,  La  Purisima  and  Santa  Vnez.  This 
mission  reached  its  greatest  prosperity  in  i8ig, 
when  its  neophyte  population  numbered  1,080. 
The  largest  number  of  cattle  owned  by  it  at  one 
time  was   12,800  in   1819. 

Its  decline  was  not  so  rapid  as  that  of  some 
of  the  other  missions,  but  the  death  rate,  espe- 
cially among  the  children,  was  fully  as  high.  Of 
the  1.367  Indian  children  baptized  there  during 
the  existence  of  mission  rule  965,  or  over  seventy 
per  cent,  died  in  childhood.  It  was  not  strange 
that  the  fearful  death  rate  both  of  children  and 
adults  at  the  missions  sometimes  frightened 
the  neophytes  into  running  away. 

SAX     LUIS    REY    DE     IK  VNCI.A 

Several  explorations  had  been  made  i"i  a  mis 
sion  site  between  San  Diego  and  San  Juan 
1  apistrano.     There  was    quite    a    large    Indian 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


population  that  had  not  been  brought  into  the 
folds  of  either  mission.  In  October,  1797,  a 
new  exploration  of  this  territory  was  ordered 
and  a  site  was  finally  selected,  although  the  ag- 
ricultural advantages  were  regarded  as  not  sat- 
isfactory. 

Governor  Borica,  February  28,  1798.  issued 
orders  to  the  comandante  at  San  Diego  to 
furnish  a  detail  of  soldiers  to  aid  in  erecting  the 
necessary  buildings.  June  13.  1798.  President 
Lasuen,  the  successor  of  President  Serra,  as- 
sisted by  Fathers  Peyri  and  Santiago,  with  the 
usual  services,  founded  the  new  mission.  It 
was  named  San  Luis  Rev  de  Francia  (St.  Louis, 
King  of  France).  Its  location  was  near  a  river 
on  which  was  bestowed  the  name  of  the  mis- 
sion. The  mission  flourished  from  its  very  be- 
ginning. Its  controlling  power  was  Padre  An- 
tonio Peyri.  He  remained  in  charge  of  it  from 
its  founding  almost  to  its  downfall,  in  all  thirty- 
three  years.  He  was  a  man  of  great  executive 
abilities  and  under  his  administration  it  be- 
came one  of  the  largest  and  most  prosperous 
missions  in  California.  It  reached  its  maximum 
in  1826,  when  its  neophyte  population  numbered 
2,869,  the  largest  number  at  one  time  connected 
with  any  mission  in  the  territory. 

The  asLtencia  or  auxiliary  mission  of  San 
Antonio  was  established  at  l'ala,  seven  leagues 
easterly  from  the  parent  mission.  A  chapel  was 
erected  here  and  regular  services  held.  One  of 
the  padres  connected  with  San  Luis  Rev  was 
in  charge  of  this  station.  Father  Peyri  left  Cal- 
ifornia  in  1831,  with  the  exiled  Governor  Vic- 
toria. He  went  to  Mexico  and  from  there  to 
Spain  and  lastly  to  Rome,  wdiere  he  died.  The 
mission  was  converted  into  an  Indian  pueblo  in 
[834,  but  the  pueblo  was  not  a  success.  Most 
.if  the  neophytes  drifted  to  Los  Angeles  and 
San  Gabriel.  Luring  the  Mexican  conquest 
American  troops  weir  stationed  there.  It  has 
recently  been  partially  repaired  and  is  now  used 
for  a  Franciscan  school  under  charge  of  Father 
J.  J.  O'Keefe. 

SANTA    YNEZ. 

Santa  Ynez  was  the  last  mission  founded  in 
Southern  California.  It  was  established  Sep- 
tember 17.  [804.    Its  location  is  about  forty  miles 


northwesterly  from  Santa  Barbara,  on  the  east- 
erly side  of  the  Santa  Ynez  mountains  and 
eighteen  miles  southeasterly  from  La  Purisima. 
Father  Tapis,  president  of  the  missions  from 
1803  to  1812,  preached  the  sermon  and  was 
assisted  in  the  ceremonies  by  Fathers  Cipies, 
Calzada  and  Gutierrez.  Carrillo,  the  comandante 
at  the  presidio,  was  present,  as  were  also  a  num- 
ber of  neophytes  from  Santa  Barbara  and  La 
Purisima.  Some  of  these  were  transferred  to 
the  new  mission. 

The  earthquake  of  December,  1812,  shook 
down  a  portion  of  the  church  and  destroyed  a 
number  of  the  neophytes'  houses.  In  1815  the 
erection  of  a  new  church  was  begun.  It  was  built 
of  adobes,  lined  with  brick,  and  was  completed 
and  dedicated  July  4.  1817.  The  Indian  revolt  of 
[824,  described  in  the  sketch  of  La  Purisima, 
broke  out  first  at  this  mission.  The  neophytes 
took  possession  of  the  church.  The  mission 
guard  defended  themselves  and  the  padre.  At 
the  approach  of  the  troops  from  Santa  Barbara 
the  Indians  fled  to  La  Purisima. 

San  Ynez  attained  its  greatest  population. 
770,  in  1816.  In  1834  its  population  had  de- 
creased  to  334.  From  its  founding  in  1804  to 
[834,  when  the  decrees  of  secularization  were 
put  in  force,  /$~  Indian  children  were  baptized 
and  519  died,  leaving  only  238,  or  about  thirty 
per  cent  of  those  baptized  to  grow  up. 

S  \X   RAFAEL. 

San  Rafael  was  the  first  mission  established 
north  of  the  Bay  of  San  Francisco.  It  was 
founded  December  14,  1817.  At  first  it  was  an 
asistencia  or  branch  of  San  Francisco.  An  epi- 
demic had  broken  out  in  the  Mission  Dolores 
and  a  number  of  the  Indians  were  transferred  to 
San  Rafael  to  escape  the  plague.  Later  on  it 
attained  to  the  dignity  of  a  mission.  In  1828  its 
population  was  1,140.  After  1830  it  began  to 
decline  and  at  the  time  of  its  secularization  in 
1834  there  were  not  more  than  500  connected 
with  it.  In  the  seventeen  years  of  its  existence 
under  mission  rule  there  were  1,873 baptisms  and 
698  deaths.  The  average  death  rate  was  6.09 
per  cent  of  the  population.  The  mission  was 
secularized  in  1834.  All  traces  of  the  mission 
building  have  disappeared. 


HISTORICAL   AXD    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


r,:, 


SAN    FRANCISCO    SOLANO. 

The  mission  of  San  Francisco  de  Asis  had 
fallen  into  a  rapid  decline.  The  epidemic  that 
had  carried  off  a  number  of  the  neophytes  and 
had  caused  the  transfer  of  a  considerable  num- 
ber to  San  Rafael  had  greatly  reduced  its  popu- 
lation. Besides,  the  sterility  of  the  soil  in  the 
vicinity  of  the  mission  necessitated  going  a  long- 
distance for  agricultural  land  and  pasturage  for 
the  herds  and  Hocks.  On  this  account  and  also 
for  the  reason  that  a  number  of  new  converts 
might  be  obtained  from  the  gentiles  living  in 
the  district  north  of  the  bay.  Governor  Arguello 
and  the  mission  authorities  decided  to  establish 
a  mission  in  that  region.  Explorations  were 
made  in  June  and  July.  1823.  On  the  41  li  of 
July  a  site  was  selected,  a  cross  blessed  and 
raised,  a  volley  of  musketry  fired  and  mass  said 
at  a  place  named  New  San  Francisco,  but  after- 
wards designated  as  the  Mission  of  San  Fran- 
cisco Solano.  On  the  25th  of  August  work  was 
begun  on  the  mission  building  and  on  the  4th  of 
April,  1824,  a  church,  24x105  feet,  built  of  wood, 
was  dedicated. 

It  had  been  intended  to  remove  the  neophytes 
from  the  old  mission  of  San  Francisco  to  the 
new;  but  the  padres  of  the  old  mission  opposed 
its  depopulation  and  suppression.  A  com- 
promise was  effected  by  allowing  all  neophytes 
of  the  old  mission  who  so  elected  to  go  to  the 
new.  Although  well  located,  the  Mission  of 
Solano  was  not  prosperous.  Its  largest  popula- 
tion, 996,  was  reached  in  1832.  The  total  num- 
ber of  baptisms  were  1,315;  deaths,  651.  The 
average  death  rate  was  7.8  per  cent  of  the  pop- 
ulation. The  mission  was  secularized  in  1835,  at 
which  time  there  were  about  550  neophytes  at- 
tached to  it. 

The  architecture  of  the  missions  was  Moorish 
— that  is,  if  it  belonged  to  any  school.  The 
padres  in  most  cases  were  the  architects  and  mas- 
ter builders.  The  main  feature  of  the  buildings 
was  massiveness.  Built  of  adobe  or  rough  stone, 
their  walls  were  of  great  thickness.  Most  of  tin.' 
church  buildings  were  narrow,  their  width  1"  ing 
out  of  proportion  to  their  length.  This  was 
necessitated  by  the  difficulty  of  procuring  j « > i - 1  -^ 
and  rafters  of  sufficient  length  for  wide  build 
ings.    The  padres  had  no  means  or  perhaps  no 


knowledge  of  trussing  a  roof,  and  the  width 
of  the  building  had  to  be  proportioned  to  the 
length  of  the  timbers  procurable.  Some  of  the 
buildings  were  planned  with  an  eye  for  the  pic- 
turesque, others  for  utility  only.  The  sites  se- 
lected for  the  mission  buildings  in  nearly  every 
case  commanded  a  fine  view  of  the  surrounding 
country.  In  their  prime,  their  white  walls  loom- 
ing up  on  the  horizon  could  be  seen  at  long 
distance  and  acted  as  beacons  to  guide  the  trav- 
eler to  their  hospitable  shelter. 

Col.  J.  J.  Warner,  who  came  to  California  in 
1831,  and  saw  the  mission  buildings  before  they 
had  fallen  into  decay,  thus  describes  their  gen- 
eral plan:  "As  soon  after  the  founding  of  a 
mission  as  circumstances  would  permit,  a  large 
pile  of  buildings  in  the  form  of  a  quadrangle, 
composed  in  part  of  burnt  brick-,  but  chiefly  of 
sun-dried  ones,  was  erected  around  a  spacious 
court.  A  large  and  capacious  church,  which 
usually  occupied  one  of  the  outer  corners  of  the 
quadrangle,  was  a  conspicuous  part  of  the  pile. 
In  this  massive  building,  covered  with  red  tile, 
was  the  habitation  of  the  friars,  rooms  for  guests 
and  for  the  major  domos  and  their  families.  In 
other  buildings  of  the  quadrangle  were  hospital 
wards,  storehouses  and  granaries,  rooms  for 
carding,  spinning  and  weaving  of  woolen  fab- 
rics, shops  for  blacksmiths,  joiners  and  carpen- 
ters, saddlers,  shoemakers  and  soap  boilers,  and 
cellars  for  storing  the  product  (wine  and  brandy) 
of  the  vineyards.  Near  the  habitation  of  the 
friars  another  building  of  similar  material  was 
placed  and  used  as  quarters  for  a  small  number 
— about  a  corporal's  guard — of  soldiers  under 
command  of  a  non-commissioned  officer,  to  hold 
the  Indian  neophytes  in  cheek  as  well  as  to  pro- 
tect the  mission  from  the  attacks  of  hostile  In- 
dians." The  Indians,  when  the  buildings  of  the 
establishment  were  complete,  lived  in  adobe 
houses  buill  in  lines  near  the  quadrangle.  Some 
of  the  buildings  of  the  square  were  occupied  by 
die  alcaldes  or  Indian  bosses.  When  the  In- 
dians .  1  into  the  mis 
the)  lived  in  brush  shanties  a  msti  ui  ted  in  the 
-ante  manner  as  their  forefathers  had  built  them 
for  generations.  In  some  of  the  missions  these 
huts  were  not  replaced  by  adobe  buildin 

ration  or  more.     Vancouver,  who  visited 


HISTORICAL   AXD    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


the  Mission  of  San  Francisco  in  1792,  sixteen 
Mar.-  aitcr  its  founding,  describes  the  Indian 
village  with  its  brush-built  huts.  He  says: 
"'These  miserable  habitations,  each  of  which  was 
allotted  for  the  residence  of  a  whole  family, 
were  erected  with  some  degree  of  uniformity 
about  three  or  four  feet  asunder  in  straight  rows, 
leaving  lanes  or  passageways  at  right  angles  be- 
tween them;  but  these  were  so  abominably  in- 
fested with  every  kind  of  filth  and  nastiness  as 
to  be  rendered  no  less  offensive  than  degrading 
to  the  human  species." 

Of  the  houses  at  Santa  Clara,  Vancouver 
says:  "The  habitations  were  not  so  regularly 
disposed  nor  did  it  (the  village)  contain  so  many 
as  the  village  of  San  Francisco,  yet  the  same 
horrid  state  of  uncleanliness  and  laziness  seemed 
to  pervade  the  whole."  Better  houses  were  then 
in  the  course  of  construction  at  Santa  Clara. 
"Each  house  would  contain  two  rooms  and  a 
garret  with  a  garden  in  the  rear."     Vancouver 


visited  San  Carlos  de  Monterey  in  1792,  twenty- 
two  \ears  after  its  founding.  He  says:  "Not- 
withstanding these  people  are  taught  and  em- 
ployed from  time  to  time  in  many  of  the  occu- 
pations most  useful  to  civil  society,  they  had  not 
made  themselves  any  more  comfortable  habita- 
tions than  those  of  their  forefathers;  nor  did 
they  seem  in  any  respect  to  have  benefited  by 
the  instruction  they  had  received." 

Captain  Beechey,  of  the  English  navy,  who 
visited  San  Francisco  and  the  missions  around 
the  bay  in  t8jS,  found  the  Indians  a:  San  Fran- 
cisco still  living  in  their  filthy  hovels  and  grind- 
ing acorns  for  food.  "San  Jose  (mission)."  he 
says,  "on  the  other  hand,  was  all  neatness,  clean- 
liness and  comfort."  At  San  Carlos  he  found 
that  the  filthy  hovels  described  by  Vancouver 
had  nearly  all  disappeared  and  the  Indians  were 
comfortably  housed.  He  adds:  "Sickness  in 
general  prevailed  to  an  incredible  extent  in  all 
the  missions." 


CHAPTER  VI. 


PRESIDIOS    OF    CALIFORNIA. 


THE  presidio  was  an  essential  feature  'if 
the  Spanish  colonization  of  America.  It 
was  usually  a  fortified  square  of  brick  or 
stone,  inside  of  which  were  the  barracks  of  the 
soldiers,  the  officers'  quarters,  a  church,  store 
houses  for  provisions  and  military  supplies.  The 
gates  at  the  entrance  were  closed  at  night,  and 
it  was  usually  provisioned  for  a  siege.  In  the 
colonization  of  California  there  were  four  pre- 
sidios established,  namely:  San  Diego,  Monte- 
rey, San  Francisco  and  Santa  Barbara.  Each 
was  the  headquarters  of  a  military  district  and 
besides  a  bod)  of  troops  kept  at  the  presidio 
it  furnished  guards  for  the  missions  in  its  re- 
pective  districl  and  also  for  the  pueblos  if  there 
in)  in  the  district.  The  first  presidio  was 
founded  at  San  Diego.  \-  stated  in  a  previous 
chapter,  the  two  -hips  of  the  expedition  by  sea 
for  the  settlement  of  California  arrived  at  the 
port    of    San     Diego    in    a    deplorable    condition 


from  scurvy.  The  San  Antonia,  after  a  voyage 
of  fifty-nine  days,  arrived  on  April  11;  the  San 
Carlos,  although  she  had  sailed  a  month  earlier, 
did  not  arrive  until  April  29.  consuming  one 
hundred  and  ten  days  in  the  voyage.  Don 
Miguel  Constanso,  the  engineer  who  came  on 
this  vessel,  says  in  his  report:  "The  scurvy  had 
infected  all  without  exception:  in  such  sort  that 
cm  entering  San  Diego  already  two  men  had 
died  of  the  said  sickness:  most  of  the  seamen, 
and  half  of  the  troops,  found  themselves  pros- 
trate in  their  beds;  only  four  mariners  remained 
<m  their  feet,  ami  attended,  aided  by  the  troops, 
to  trimming  and  furling  the  sails  and  other 
working  of  the  ship."  "The  San  Antonia."  says 
Constanso,  "had  the  half  of  its  crew  equally 
affected  b)  the  scurvy,  of  which  illness  two  men 
had  likewise  died."  This  vessel,  although  it  had 
arrived  at  the  port  on  the  1  1th  of  April,  had  evi- 
dently not  landed  any  of  its  sick.    <  hi  the  1st  of 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


May,  Don  Pedro  Fages,  the  commander  of  the 
troops,  Constanso  and  Estorace,  the  second  cap- 
tain of  the  San  Carlos,  with  twenty-five  soldiers, 
set  out  to  find  a  watering  place  where  they  could 
fill  their  barrels  with  fresh  water.  "Following 
the  west  shore  of  the  port,  after  going  a  mat- 
ter of  three  leagues,  they  arrived  at  the  banks 
of  a  river  hemmed  in  with  a  fringe  of  willows 
and  cottonwoods.  Its  channel  must  have  been 
twenty  varas  wide  and  it  discharges  into  an 
estuary  which  at  high  tide  could  admit  the 
launch  and  made  it  convenient  for  accomplish- 
ing the  taking  on  of  water."  *  *  :i  "Hav- 
ing reconnoitered  the  watering  place,  the  Span- 
iards betook  themselves  back  on  board  the 
vessels  and  as  these  were  found  to  be  very  far 
away  from  the  estuary  in  which  the  river  dis- 
charges, their  captains,  Vicente  Vila  and  Don 
Juan  Perez,  resolved  to  approach  it  as  closely 
as  they  could  in  order  to  give  less  work  to  the 
people  handling  the  launches.  These  labors 
were  accomplished  with  satiety  of  hardship;  for 
from  one  day  to  the  next  the  number  of  the  sick- 
kept  increasing,  along  with  the  dying  of  the 
most  aggravated  cases  and  augmented  the  fa- 
tigue of  the  few  who  remained  on  their 
feet." 

"Immediate  to  the  beach  on  the  side  toward 
the  east  a  scanty  enclosure  was  constructed 
formed  of  a  parapet  of  earth  and  fascines,  which 
was  garnished  with  two  cannons.  They  disem- 
barked some  sails  and  awnings  from  the  packets 
with  which  they  made  two  tents  capacious 
enough  for  a  hospital.  At  one  side  the  two  offi- 
cers, the  missionary  fathers  and  the  surgeon  put 
up  their  own  tents;  the  sick  were  brought  in 
launches  to  this  improvised  presidio  and  hospi- 
tal." "But  these  diligencies,"  says  Constanso, 
"were  not  enough  to  procure  them  health." 
*  *  *  "The  cold  made  itself  felt  with  rigor  at 
night  in  the  barracks  and  the  sun  by  day.  alter- 
nations which  made  the  sick  suffer  cruelly,  two 
or  three  of  them  dying  every  day.  And  this 
whole  expedition,  which  had  been  composed  of 
more  than  ninety  men,  saw  itself  reduced  to  only 
eight  soldiers  and  as  many  mariners  in  a  state  to 
attend  to  the  safeguarding  of  the  barks,  the 
working  of  the  launches,  custody  of  the  camp 
and  service  of  the  sick." 


Rivera  y  Moncada,  the  commander  of  the 
first  detachment  of  the  land  expedition,  arrived 
at  San  Diego  May  14.  It  was  decided  by  the 
officers  to  remove  the  camp  to  a  point  near  the 
river.  This  had  not  been  done  before  on  ac- 
count of  the  small  force  able  to  work  and  the 
lack  of  beasts  of  burden.  Rivera's  men  were  all 
in  good  health  and  after  a  day's  rest  "all  were 
removed  to  a  new  camp,  which  was  transferred 
one  league  further  north  on  the  right  side  of 
the  river  upon  a  hill  of  middling  height." 

Here  a  presidio  was  built,  the  remains  of 
which  can  still  be  seen.  It  was  a  parapet  of 
earth  similar  to  that  thrown  up  at  the  first  camp, 
which,  according  to  Bancroft,  was  probably 
within  the  limits  of  New  Town  and  the  last  one 
in  Old  Town  or  Xorth  San  Diego. 

While  Portola's  expedition  was  away  search- 
ing for  the  port  of  Monterey,  the  Indians  made 
an  attack  on  the  camp  at  San  Diego,  killed  a 
Spanish  youth  and  wounded  Padre  Yiscaino,  the 
blacksmith,  and  a  Lower  California  neophyte. 
The  soldiers  remaining  at  San  Diego  sur- 
rounded the  buildings  with  a  stockade.  Con- 
stanso says,  on  the  return  of  the  Spaniards  of 
Portola's  expedition;  "They  found  in  good  con- 
dition their  humble  buildings,  surrounded  with 
a  palisade  of  trunks  of  trees,  capable  of  a  good 
defense  in  Case  of  necessity." 

"In  1782,  the  presidial  force  at  San  Diego,  be- 
sides the  commissioned  officers,  consisted  of  five 
corporals  and  forty-six  soldiers.  Six  men  were 
constantly  on  duty  at  each  of  the  three  missions 
of  the  district,  San  Diego,  San  Juan  Capistrano 
and  San  Gabriel ;  while  four  served  at  the  pueblo 
of  Los  Angeles,  thus  leaving  a  sergeant,  two 
corporals  and  about  twenty-five  men  to  garrison 
the  fort,  care  for  the  horses  and  a  small  herd  of 
cattle,  and  to  carry  the  mails,  which  latter  dut) 
was  the  hardest  connected  with  the  presidio 
service  in  time  of  peace.  There  were  a  carpenter 
and  blacksmith  constantly  employed,  besides  a 
few  servants,  mosth  nativ<  ion  of 

the  district  in  1790,  not  including  Indians,  was 
220."* 

Before  the  close  of  the  century  the  wooden 
palisades  had  been  replaced  by  a  thick  adobe 

♦Bancroft's  History  of  California.   Vol.   I. 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


wall,  but  even  then  the  fort  was  not  a  very  for- 
midable defense.  Vancouver,  the  English  navi- 
gator, who  visited  it  in  1793,  describes  it  as 
"'irregularly  built  on  very  uneven  ground,  which 
makes  it  liable  to  some  inconveniences  without 
the  obvious  appearance  of  any  object  for  select- 
ing such  a  spot."  It  then  mounted  three  small 
brass  cannon. 

Gradually  a  town  grew  up  around  the  pre- 
sidio. Robinson,  who  visited  San  Diego  in 
[829,  thus  describes  it:  "On  the  lawn  beneath 
the  hill  on  which  the  presidio  is  built  stood 
about  thirty  houses  of  rude  appearance,  mostly 
occupied  by  retired  veterans,  not  so  well  con- 
structed in  respect  either  to  beauty  or  stability 
as  the  houses  at  Monterey,  with  the  exception  of 
that  belonging  to  our  Administrador,  Don  Juan 
Bandini,  whose  mansion,  then  in  an  unfinished 
state,  bid  fair,  when  completed,  to  surpass  any 
other  in  the  countr)  ." 

Under  Spain  there  was  attempt  at  least  to 
keep  the  presidio  in  repair,  but  under  Mexican 
domination  it  fell  into  decay.  Dana  describes  it 
as  he  saw  it  in  1836:  "The  first  place  we  went 
to  was  the  old  ruinous  presidio,  which  stands  on 
rising  ground  near  the  village  which  it  over- 
looks. It  is  built  in  the  form  of  an  open  square, 
like  all  the  other  presidios,  and  was  in  a  most 
ruinous  state,  with,  the  exception  of  one  side, 
in  which  the  comandante  lived  with  his  family. 
There  were  only  two  guns,  one  of  which  was 
spiked  and  the  other  had  no  carriage.  Twelve 
half  clothed  and  half  starved  looking  fellows 
composed  the  garrison;  and  they,  it  was  said, 
had  11., t  a  musket  apiece.  The  small  settlement 
lav  directly  below  the  fort  composed  of  about 
fort)  dark  brown  looking  huts  or  houses  and 
three  or  four  larger  ones  whitewashed,  which 
d  to   the   -elite  de   razon." 

THE    PRESIDIO   OF    MONTEREY  . 

In  a  previous  chapter  has  been  narrated  the 
Stori  oi  Portola's  expedition  in  search  of  Mon- 
terey Bay,  how  the  e\plorer>.  failing  to  recog- 
nize it,  passed  on  to  the  northward  and  discov- 
ered the  greal  Ba)  of  San  Francisco.  On  their 
return  the)  set  up  a  cross  at  what  they  supposed 
was  the  Baj  of  Monterey:  and  at  the  fo.it  of 
the  cross  buried  a  letter  giving  information  to 


any  ship  that  might  come  up  the  coast  in  search 
of  them  that  they  had  returned  to  San  Diego. 
They  had  continually  been  on  the  lookout  for 
the  San  Jose,  which  was  to  co-operate  with 
them,  but  that  vessel  had  been  lost  at  sea  with 
all  on  board.  On  their  return  to  San  Diego,  in 
January.  1770,  preparations  were  made  for  a 
return  as  soon  as  a  vessel  should  arrive.  It 
was  not  until  the  16th  of  April  that  the  San  An- 
tonia.  the  only  vessel  available,  was  ready  to 
depart  for  the  second  objective  point  of  settle- 
ment. On  the  17th  of  April,  Governor  Portola, 
Lieutenant  Fages,  Father  Crespi  and  nineteen 
soldiers  took  up  their  line  of  inarch  for  Monte- 
rey. They  followed  the  trail  made  in  1769  and 
reached  the  point  where  they  had  set  up  the 
cross  April  24.  They  found  it  decorated  with 
feathers,  bows  and  arrows  and  a  string  of  fish. 
Evidently  the  Indians  regarded  it  as  the  white 
man's  fetich  and  tried  to  propitiate  it  by  offer- 
ings. 

The  San  Antonia,  bearing  Father  Serra, 
Pedro  Prat,  the  surgeon,  and  Miguel  Constanso, 
the  civil  engineer,  and  supplies  for  the  mission 
and  presidio,  arrived  the  last  day  of  May.  Por- 
tola was  still  uncertain  whether  this  was  really 
Monterey  Bay.  It  was  hard  to  discover  in  the 
open  roadstead  stretching  out  before  them  Vis- 
caino's  land-locked  harbor,  sheltered  from  all 
winds.  After  the  arrival  of  the  San  Antonia  the 
officers  of  the  land  and  sea  expedition  made  a 
reconnaissance  of  the  bay  and  all  concurred  that 
at  last  they  had  reached  the  destined  port.  They 
located  the  oak  under  whose  wide-spreading 
branches  Padre  Ascension,  Yiscaino's  chaplain, 
had  celebrated  mass  in  1602,  and  the  springs  of 
fresh  water  near  by.  Preparations  were  begun 
at  once  for  the  founding  of  mission  and  presidio. 
A  shelter  of  boughs  was  constructed,  an  altar 
raised  and  the  bells  hung  upon  the  branch  of  a 
tree.  Father  Serra  sang  mass  and  as  they  had 
no  musical  instrument,  salvos  of  artillery  and 
volleys  of  musketry  furnished  an  accompani- 
ment to  the  service.  After  the  religious  services 
the  royal  standard  was  raised  and  Governor 
Portola  took  possession  of  the  country  in  the 
name  of  Kin-  Carlos  111..  King  of  Spain.  The 
ceremoii)  closed  with  the  pulling  of  grass  and 
the  casting  of  stones  around,  significant  of  en- 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


69 


tire  possession  of  the  earth  and  its  products. 
After  the  service  all  feasted. 

Two  messengers  were  sent  by  Portola  with 
dispatches  to  the  city  of  Mexico.  A  day's  jour- 
ney below  San  Diego  they  met  Rivera  and 
twenty  soldiers  coming  with  a  herd  of  cattle  and 
a  flock  of  sheep  to  stock  the  mission  pastures. 
Rivera  sent  back  five  of  his  soldiers  with  Por- 
tola's  carriers.  The  messengers  reached  Todos 
Santos  near  Cape  San  Lucas  in  forty-nine  days 
from  Monterey.  From  there  the  couriers  w:ere 
sent  to  San  Bias  by  ship,  arriving  at  the  city  of 
Mexico  August  10.  There  was  great  rejoicing 
at  the  capital.  Marquis  Le  Croix  and  Yisitador 
Galvez  received  congratulations  in  the  King's 
name  for  the  extension  of  his  domain. 

Portola  superintended  the  building  of  some 
rude  huts  for  the  shelter  of  the  soldiers,  the 
officers  and  the  padres.  Around  the  square 
containing  the  huts  a  palisade  of  poles  was  con- 
structed.'  July  9,  Portola  having  turned  over 
the  command  of  the  troops  to  Lieutenant  Pages, 
embarked  on  the  San  Antonia  for  San  Bias; 
with  him  went  the  civil  engineer,  Constanso, 
from  whose  report  I  have  frequently  quoted. 
Neither  of  them  ever  returned  to  California. 

The  difficult}  of  reaching  California  by  ship 
on  account  of  the  head  winds  that  blow  down 
the  coast  caused  long  delays  in  the  arrival  oi 
vessels  with  supplies.  This  brought  about  a 
scarcity  of  provisions  at  the  presidios  and  mis- 
sions. 

In  1772  the  padres  of  San  Gabriel  were  re- 
duced to  a  milk  diet  and  what  little  they  could 
obtain  from  the  Indians.  At  Monterey  and  San 
Antonio  the  padres  and  the  soldiers  were  obliged 
to  live  on  vegetables.  In  this  emergency  Lieu- 
tenant Pages  and  a  squad  of  soldiers  went  on  a 
bear  hunt.  They  spent  three  months  in  the 
summer  of  1772  killing  bears  in  the  Canada  de 
los  Osos  (Bear  Canon).  The  soldiers  and  mis- 
sionaries had  a  plentiful  supply  of  bear  meat. 
There  were  not  enough  cattle  in  the  countr)  1-1 
admit  of  slaughtering  any  for  food.  The  pre- 
sidial  walls  which  were  substituted  for  the  pal- 
isades were  built  of  adobes  and  stone.  The 
inclosure  measured  one  hundred  and  ten  yards 
011  each  side.  The  buildings  were  roofed  with 
tiles.     "On  the  north  were  the  main   entrance. 


the  guard  house,  and  the  warehouses ;  on  the 
west  the  houses  of  the  governor  comandante 
and  other  officers,  some  fifteen  apartments  in 
all;  on  the  east  nine  houses  for  soldiers,  and  a 
blacksmith  shop;  and  on  the  south,  besides 
nine  similar  houses,  was  the  presidio  church, 
opposite  the  main  gateway."* 

The  military  force  at  the  presidio  consisted  of 
cavalry,  infantry  and  artillery,  their  numbers 
varying  from  one  hundred  to  one  hundred  and 
twenty  in  all.  These  soldiers  furnished  guards 
for  the  missions  of  San  Carlos,  San  Antonio, 
San  Miguel,  Soledad  and  San  Luis  Obispo.  The 
total  population  of  gente  de  razon  in  the  district 
at  the  close  of  the  century  numbered  four  hun- 
dren  and  ninety.  The  rancho  "del  rey"  or 
rancho  of  the  king  was  located  where  Salinas 
City  now  stands.  This  rancho  was  managed  by 
the  soldiers  of  presidio  and  was  intended  to 
furnish  the  military  with  meat  and  a  supply  of 
horses  for  the  cavalry.  At  the  presidio  a  num- 
ber of  invalided  soldiers  who  had  served  out 
their  time  were  settled;  these  were  allowed  to 
cultivate  land  and  raise  cattle  on  the  unoccu- 
pied lands  of  the  public  domain.  A  town  grad- 
ually grew  up  around  the  presidio  square. 

Vancouver,  the  English  navigator,  visited  the 
presidio  of  Monterey  in  1792  and  describes  it  as 
it  then  appeared:  "The  buildings  of  the  pre- 
sidio form  a  parallelogram  or  long  square  com- 
prehending an  area  of  about  three  hundred 
yards  long  by  two  hundred  and  fifty  wide,  mak- 
ing one  entire  enclosure.  The  external  wall  is 
of  the  same  magnitude  and  built  with  the  same 
materials,  and  except  that  the  officers'  apart- 
ments are  covered  with  red  tile  made  in  the 
neighborhood,  the  whole  presents  the  same 
lonely,  uninteresting  appearance  as  that  already 
described  at  San  Francisco.  Like  that  estab- 
lishment, the  several  buildings  for  the  use  of  the 
officers,  soldiers,  an  !  tor  the  protection  of  stores 
and  provisions  are  erected  along  the  wall-  on 
the  inside  of  the  inclosure,  which  admits  of  but 
one  entrance  for  carriages  or  persons  on 
back:  this,  as  at  San  Francisco,  is  on  the  side 
of  the  square  fronting  the  church  which  was 
rebuilding   with   -tone   like   thai    at    San    ( 


croft's   Hi-!- 


Til 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


"At  each  comer  of  the  square  is  a  small  kind 
of  block  house  raised  a  little  above  the  top  of 
the  wall  where  swivels  might  be  mounted, for  its 
protection.  On  the  outside,  before  the  entrance 
into  the  presidio,  which  fronts  the  shores  of 
the  bay.  are  placed  seven  cannon,  four  nine  and 
three  three-pounders,  mounted.  The  guns  are 
planted  on  the  open  plain  ground  without 
breastwork  or  other  screen  for  those  employed 
in  working  them  or  the  least  protection  from  the 
weather." 

THE   PRESIDIO  OE  SAN    FRANCISCO. 

In  a  previous  chapter  I  have  given  an  account 
of  the  discovery  of  San  Francisco  Bay  by  Por- 
tola's  expedition  in  1769.  The  discovery  of  that 
great  bay  seems  to  have  been  regarded  as  an 
unimportant  event  by  the  governmental  offi- 
cials. While  there  was  great  rejoicing  at  the 
city  of  Mexico  over  the  founding  of  a  mission 
for  the  conversion  of  a  few  naked  savages,  the 
discovery  of  the  bay  was  scarcely  noticed,  ex- 
cept to  construe  it  into  some  kind  of  a  miracle. 
Father  Serra  assume,!  that  St.  Francis  had  con- 
cealed Monterey  from  the  explorers  and  led 
them  to  the  discovery  of  the  bay  in  order  that 
lie  (St.  Francis)  might  have  a  mission  named 
for  him.  Indeed,  the  only  use  to  which  the 
discovery  could  be  put,  according  to  Serra's 
ideas,  was  a  site  for  a  mission  on  its  shores,  dedi- 
cated to  the  founder  of  the  Franciscans.  Several 
explorations  were  made  with  this  in  view.  In 
1772,  Lieutenant  Fages,  Father  Crespi  and  six- 
teen soldiers  passed  up  the  western  side  of  the 
bay  and  in  1774  Captain  Rivera,  Father  Palou 
and  a  squad  of  soldiers  passed  up  the  eastern 
shore,  returning  by  way  of  Monte  Diablo, 
Amador  valley  and  Alameda  creek  to  the  Santa 
Clara  valley. 

In  the  latter  part  of  the  year  1774,  viceroy 
Bucureli  ordered  the  founding  of  a  mission  and 
pre  Tlio  at  San  Francisco.  Hitherto  all  explora- 
tions of  the  bay  had  been  made  by  land  expedi- 
tions. No  one  had  ventured  on  its  waters.  In 
1775  Lieutenant  Juan  <le  Ayala  of  the  royal 
navy  was  sent  in  the  old  pioneer  mission  ship, 
the  San  Carlos,  to  make  a  survey  of  it.  August 
5.  1775,  he  passed  through  the  ( '.olden  Gate. 
He  moored  his  ship  at  an  island  called  by  him 


Nuestra  Sehora  de  los  Angeles,  now  Angel 
Island.  He  spent  forty  days  in  making  explora- 
tions. His  ship  was  the  first  vessel  to  sail  upon 
the  great  Bay  of  San  Francisco. 

In  1774,  Captain  Juan  Bautista  de  Anza,  com- 
mander of  the  presidio  of  Tubac  in  Sonora,  had 
made  an  exploration  of  a  route  from  Sonora  via 
the  Colorado  river,  across  the  desert  and 
through  the  San  Gorgonia  pass  to  San  Gabriel 
mission.  From  Tubac  to  the  Colorado  river  the 
route  hail  been  traveled  before  but  from  the 
Colorado  westward  the  country  was  a  terra  in- 
cognita. He  was  guided  over  this  by  a  lower 
California  neophyte  who  had  deserted  from  San 
Gabriel  mission  and  alone  had  reached  the 
rancherias  on  the  Colorado. 

After  Anza's  return  to  Sonora  he  was  com- 
missioned by  the  viceroy  to  recruit  soldiers  and 
settlers  for  San  Francisco.  October  23,  1775, 
Anza  set  out  from  Tubac  with  an  expedition 
numbering  two  hundred  and  thirty-five  persons, 
composed  of  soldiers  and  their  families,  colon- 
ists, musketeers  and  vaqueros.  They  brought 
with  them  large  herds  of  horses,  mules  and  cat- 
tle. The  journey  was  accomplished  without  loss 
of  life,  but  with  a  considerable  amount  of  suf- 
fering. January  4.  1776,  the  immigrants  ar- 
rived at  San  Gabriel  mission,  where  they  stopped 
to  rest,  but  were  soon  compelled  to  move  on, 
provisions  at  the  mission  becoming  scarce.  They 
arrived  at  Monterey  March  10.  Here  they  went 
into  camp.  Anza  with  an  escort  of  soldiers  pro- 
ceeded to  San  Francisco  to  select  a  presidio 
site.  Having  found  a  site  he  returned  to  Mon- 
terey. Rivera,  the  commander  of  the  territory, 
had  manifested  a  spirit  of  jealousy  toward  Anza 
and  had  endeavored  to  thwart  him  in  his  at- 
tempts to  found  a  settlement.  Disgusted  with 
the  action  of  the  commander,  Anza,  leaving  his 
colonists  to  the  number  of  two  hundred  at  Mon- 
terey took  his  departure  from  California.  Anza 
in  his  explorations  for  a  presidio  site  had  fixed 
upon  what  is  now  Fort  Point. 

\iter  his  departure  Rivera  experienced  a 
change  of  heart  and  instead  of  trying  to  dela) 
the  founding  he  did  everything  to  hasten  it.  The 
.imperative  orders  of  the  viceroy  received  at 
aboul  this  time  brought  about  the  change.  He 
ordered  Lieutenant  Moraga,  to  whom  Anza  had 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


71 


turned  over  the  command  of  his  soldiers  and 
colonists,  to  proceed  at  once  to  San  Francisco 
with  twenty  soldiers  to  found  the  fort.  The  San 
Carlos,  which  had  just  arrived  at  Monterey,  was 
ordered  to  proceed  to  San  Francisco  to  assist 
in  the  founding.  Moraga  with  his  soldiers  ar- 
rived June  27,  and  encamped  on  the  Laguna 
de  los  Dolores,  where  the  mission  was  a  short 
time  afterwards  founded.  Moraga  decided  to 
located  the  presidio  at  the  site  selected  by  Anza 
but  awaited  the  arrival  of  the  San  Carlos  before 
proceeding  to  build.  August  18  the  vessel  ar- 
rived. It  had  been  driven  down  the  coast  to  the 
latitude  of  San  Diego  by  contrary  winds  and 
then  up  the  coast  to  latitude  42  degrees.  On  the 
arrival  of  the  vessel  work  was  begun  at  once  on 
the  fort.  A  square  of  ninety-two  varas  (two 
hundred  and  forty-seven  feet)  on  each  side  was 
inclosed  with  palisades.  Barracks,  officers' 
quarters  and  a  chapel  were  built  inside  the 
square.  September  17,  1776,  was  set  apart  for 
the  services  of  founding,  that  being  the  da)  of 
the  "Sores  of  our  seraphic  father  St.  Francis." 
The  royal  standard  was  raised  in  front  of  the 
square  and  the  usual  ceremony  of  pulling  grass 
and  throwing  stones  was  performed.  Posses- 
sion of  the  region  round  about  was  taken  in  the 
name  of  Carlos  III.,  King  of  Spain.  Over  one 
hundred  and  fifty  persons  witnessed  the  cere- 
mony. Vancouver,  who  visited  the  presidio  in 
November,  1792,  describes  it  as  a  "square  area 
whose  sides  were  about  two  hundred  yards  in 
length,  enclosed  by  a  mud  wall  and  resembling 
a  pound  for  cattle.  Above  this  wall  the  thatched 
roofs  of  the  low  small  houses  just  made  their 
appearance."  The  wall  was  "about  fourteen  feet 
high  and  five  feet  in  breadth  and  was  first 
formed  by  upright  and  horizontal  rafters  of 
large  timber,  between  which  dried  sods  and 
moistened  earth  were  pressed  as  close  and  hard 
as  possible,  after  which  the  whole  was  cased  with 
the  earth  made  into  a  sort  of  mud  plaster  which 
gave  it  the  appearance  of  durability." 

In  addition  to  the  presidio  there  was  another 
fort  at  Fort  Point  named  Castillo  de  San  Joa- 
quin. It  was  completed  and  blessed  December 
8,  1794.  "It  was  of  horseshoe  shape,  about  one 
hundred  by  one  hundred  and  twenty  feet."  The 
structure  rested  mainly  on  sand:  the  brick-faced 


adobe  walls  crumbled  at  the  shock  whenever  a 
salute  was  fired;  the  guns  were  badly  mounted 
and  for  the  most  part  worn  out,  only  two  of  the 
thirteen  twenty-four-pounders  being  serviceable 
or  capable  of  sending  a  ball  across  the  entrance 
of  the  fort.* 

PRESIDIO    OF    SANTA    BARBARA. 

Cabrillo,  in  1542,  found  a  large  Indian  popula- 
tion inhabiting  the  main  land  of  the  Santa  Bar- 
bara channel.  Two  hundred  and  twenty-seven 
years  later,  when  Portola  made  his  exploration, 
apparently  there  had  been  no  decrease  in  the 
number  of  inhabitants.  No  portion  of  the  coast 
offered  a  better  field  for  missionary  labor  and 
Father  Serra  was  anxious  to  enter  it.  In  ac- 
cordance with  Governor  Felipe  de  Neve's  report 
of  1777,  it  had  been  decided  to  found  three  mis- 
sions and  a  presidio  on  the  channel.  Various 
causes  had  delayed  the  founding  ami  it  was  not 
until  April  17.  1782,  that  Governor  de  Neve 
arrived  at  the  point  where  he  had  decided  to 
locate  the  presidio  of  Santa  Barbara.  The 
troops  that  were  to  man  the  fort  reached  San 
Gabriel  in  the  fall  of  1781.  It  was  thought  best 
for  them  to  remain  there  until  the  rainy  sea- 
son was  over.  March  26,  1782,  the  governor  and 
Father  Serra,  accompanied  by  the  largest  body 
of  troops  that  had  ever  before  been  collected  in 
California,  set  out  to  found  the  mission  of  San 
Buenaventura  and  the  presidio.  The  governor, 
as  has  been  stated  in  a  former  chapter,  was  re- 
called to  San  Gabriel.  The  mission  was  founded 
and  the  governor  having  rejoined  the  cavalcade 
a  few  weeks  later  proceeded  to  find  a  location 
for  the  presidio. 

"On  reaching  a  point  nine  leagues  from  San 
Buenaventura,  the  governor  called  a  halt  and  in 
company  with  Father  Serra  at  once  procei 
select  a  site  for  the  presidio.  The  choice  re- 
sulted in  the  adoption  of  the  square  now 
formed  by  city  blocks  130.  140,  155  anil  150. 
and  bounded  in  common  by  the  following 
streets:  Figueroa,  Canon  Perdido,  Garden  and 
Anacapa.  A  large  community  of  Indians  were 
residing  there  but  orders  were  given  to  leave 
them   undisturbed.      M>.    soldiers  were  at  once 

B 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


directed  to  hew  timbers  and  gather  brush  to 
erect  temporary  barracks  which,  when  com- 
pleted, were  also  used  as  a  chapel.  A  large 
wooden  cross  was  made  that  it  might  be  planted 
in  the  center  of  the  square  and  possession  of 
the  country  was  taken  in  the  name  of  the  cross, 
the  emblem  of  Christianity. 

April  21,  1782,  the  soldiers  formed  a  square 
and  with  edifying  solemnity  raised  the  cross  and 
secured  it  in  the  earth.  Father  Serra  blessed 
and  consecrated  the  district  and  preached  a  ser- 
mon. The  royal  standard  of  Spain  was  un- 
furled."* 

An  inclosure,  sixty  varas  square,  was  made  of 
palisades.  The  Indians  were  friendly,  and 
through  their  chief  yanoalit,  who  controlled  thir- 
teen rancherias,  details  of  them  were  secured 
to  assist  the  soldiers  in  the  work  of  building. 
The  natives  were  paid  in  food  and  clothing  for 
their  labor. 

Irrigation  works  were  constructed,  consisting 
of  a  large  reservoir  made  of  stone  and  cement, 
with  a  zanja  for  conducting  water  to  the  pre- 
sidio. The  soldiers,  who  had  families,  cultivated 
small  gardens  which  aided  in  their  support. 
Lieutenant  (  )rtega  was  in  command  of  the  pre- 
sidio for  two  years  after  its  founding.  He  was 
succeeded  by  Lieutenant  Felipe  de  Goycoechea. 
After  the.  founding  of  the  mission  in  [786,  a 
bitter  feud  broke  out  between  the  padres  and 
the  comandante  of  the  presidio.  Goycoechea 
claimed  the  right  to  employ  the  Indians  in  the 
building  of  the  presidio  as  he  had  dune  before 
the  coming  of  the  friars.  This  they  denied. 
After  an  acrimonious  controversy  the  dispute 
was  finally  compromised  by  dividing  the  Indian- 
into  two  bands,  a  mission  band  and  a  presidio 
band. 

Gradually  the  palisades  were  replaced  by  an 
adobe  wall  twelve  feet  high.  It  had  a  stone 
foundation  and  was  strongly  built.  The  plaza  or 
inclosed  square  was  three  hundred  and  thirty 
feet  on  each  side.  On  two  -ides  of  this  inclos- 
ure  were  ranged  the  family  houses  of  the  sol- 
diers, averaging  in  size  15x25  feet.  <  )n  one  side 
1 I  th<   -mm  ei's'  quarters  and  the  church.    (  >n 


Father  Cabelleria's  Hi  tor}   oi  Santa  Barbara. 


the  remaining  side  were  the  main  entrance  four 
varas  wide,  the  store  rooms,  soldiers'  quarters 
and  a  guard  room;  and  adjoining  these  outside 
the  walls  were  the  corrals  for  cattle  and  horses. 
A  force  of  from  fifty  to  sixty  soldiers  was  kept 
at  the  post.  There  were  bastions  at  two  of  the 
corners  for  cannon. 

The  presidio  was  completed  about  1790,  with 
the  exception  of  the  chapel,  which  was  not  fin- 
ished until  i/'j".  Many  of  the  soldiers  when 
they  had  served  out  their  time  desired  to  re- 
main in  the  country.  These  were  given  permis- 
sion to  build  houses  outside  the  walls  of  the 
presidio  and  in  course  of  time  a  village  grew  up 
around  it. 

At  the  close  of  the  century  the  population  of 
the  gente  de  razon  of  the  district  numbered 
three  hundred  and  seventy.  The  presidio  when 
completed  was  the  best  in  California.  Van- 
couver, the  English  navigator,  who  visited  it  in 
November,  1793,  says  of  it:  "The  buildings  ap- 
peared to  be  regular  and  well  constructed;  the 
walls  clean  and  white  and  the  roofs  of  the  houses 
were  covered  with  a  bright  red  tile.  The  pre- 
sidio excels  all  the  others  in  neatness,  cleanli- 
ness  and  other  smaller  though  essential  com- 
forts; it  is  placed  on  an  elevated  part  of  the 
plain  and  is  raised  some  feet  from  the  ground 
by  a  basement  story  which  adds  much  to  its 
pleasantness." 

During  the  Spanish  regime  the  settlement  at 
the  presidio  grew  in  the  leisurely  way  that  all 
Spanish  towns  grew  in  California.  There  was 
but  little  immigration  from  Mexico  and  about 
the  only  source  of  increase  was  from  invalid 
soldiers  and  the  children  of  the  soldiers  grow- 
ing up  to  manhood  and  womanhood.  It  was  a 
dreary  and  monotonous  existence  that  the  sol- 
diers led  at  the  presidios.  A  few  of  them  had 
their  families  with  them.  These  when  the  coun- 
try became  more  settled  had  their  own  houses 
adjoining  the  presidio  and  formed  the  nuclei 
of  the  towns  that  grew  up  around  the  different 
forts.  There  was  l,ut  little  fighting  to  do  and 
tlie  soldiers'  service  consisted  mainly  of  a  round 
of  guard  duty  at  the  forts  and  missions.  Oc- 
casionallj  there  were  conquistas  into  the  In- 
dian country  to  secure  new  material  for  con- 
verts from  the  gentiles.     The  soldiers  were  oc- 


HISTORICAL   AXD    BIOGRAPHICAL    RECORD. 


73 


casionally  employed  in  hunting  hindas  or  run- 
aways from  the  missions.  These  when  brought 
back  were  thoroughly  flogged  and  compelled  to 
wear  clogs  attached  to  their  legs.  Once  a  month 
the  soldier  couriers  brought  up  from  Loreta  a 
budget  of  mail  made  up  of  official  bandos  and  a 


few  letters.  These  contained  about  all  the  news 
that  reached  them  from  their  old  homes  in 
Mexico.  But  few  of  the  soldiers  returned  to 
Mexico  when  their  term  of  enlistment  expired. 
In  course  of  time  these  and  their  descendants 
formed  the  bulk  of  California's  population. 


CHAPTER   VII 


PUEBLOS. 


THE  pueblo  plan  of  colonization  so  com- 
mon in  Hispano-American  countries  did 
not  originate  with  the  Spanish-Amer- 
ican colonists.  It  was  older  even  than  Spain 
herself.  In  early  European  colonization,  the 
pueblo  plan,  the  common  square  in  the  center 
of  the  town,  the  house  lots  grouped  round  it, 
the  arable  fields  and  the  common  pasture  lands 
beyond,  appears  in  the  Aryan  village,  in  the  an- 
cient German  mark  and  in  the  old  Roman 
praesidium.  The  Puritans  adopted  this  form  in 
their  first  settlements  in  Xew  England.  Around 
the  public  scpiare  or  common  where  stood  the 
meeting  house  and  the  town  house,  they  laid  off 
their  home  lots  and  beyond  these  were  their 
cultivated  fields  and  their  common  pasture  lands. 
This  form  of  colonization  was  a  combination  of 
communal  interests  and  individual  ownership. 
Primarily,  no  doubt,  it  was  adopted  for  protec- 
tion against  the  hostile  aborigines  of  the  coun- 
try, and  secondly  for  social  advantage.  It  re- 
versed the  order  of  our  own  western  coloniza- 
tion. The  town  came  first,  it  was  the  initial 
point  from  which  the  settlement  radiated:  while 
with  our  western  pioneers  the  town  was  an  after- 
thought, a  center  point  for  the  convenience  of 
trade. 

When  it  had  been  decided  to  send  colonists 
to  colonize  California  the  settlements  naturally 
took  the  pueblo  form.  The  difficulty  of  obtain- 
ing regular  supplies  for  the  presidios  front  Mex- 
ico, added  to  the  great  expense  of  shipping  such 
a  long  distance,  was  the  principal  cause  that  in- 
fluenced the  government  to  establish  pueblos  de 
gente  de  razon.  The  presidios  received  their 
shipments  of  grain  for  breadstuff  from  San  Bias 


by  sailing  vessels.  The  arrival  of  these  was  un- 
certain. Unce  when  the  vessels  were  unusually 
long  in  coming,  the  padres  and  the  soldiers  at 
the  presidios  and  missions  were  reduced  to  liv- 
ing on  milk,  bear  meat  and  what  provisions  they 
could  obtain  from  the  Indians.  'When  Felipe  de 
Xeve  was  made  governor  of  Aha  or  Nueva 
California  in  1776  he  was  instructed  by  the  vice- 
roy to  make  observations  on  the  agricultural 
possibilities  of  the  country  and  the  feasibility  of 
founding  pueblos  where  grain  could  be  produced 
to   supply  the  military   establishments. 

On  his  journey  from  San  Diego  to  San  Fran- 
cisco in  1777  he  carefully  examined  the  coun- 
try; and  as  a  result  of  his  observations  recom- 
mended the  founding  of  two  pueblos;  one  on  the 
Rio  de  Porciuncula  in  the  south,  and  the  other 
on  the  Rio  de  Guadalupe  in  the  north.  I  >n  the 
29th  of  November,  1777.  the  Pueblo  of  San 
Jose  de  Guadelupe  was  Founded.  Hie  colonists 
were  nine  of  the  presidio  soldiers  from  San 
Francisco  and  Monterey,  who  had  some  knowl- 
edge of  farming  and  live  of  Anza's  pobladores 
who  had  come  with  his  expedition  the  previous 
years  to  found  the  presidio  of  San  Francisco, 
making  with  their  families  sixty-one  persons  in 
ail.  The  pueblo  was  named  for  the  patron  saint 
of  Calif  irnia,  San  Jose  (St.  Joseph),  husband  of 
Santa  Maria.  Queen  of  the  Angeles. 

The  site  selected  for  the  town  was  about  a 
mile  and  a  quarter  north  of  the  center  of  the 
present  city.  Tin  first  houses  were  built  >n'  pal- 
isades and  the  interstices  plastered  with  mud. 
These  huts  were-  roofed  with  earth  and  the  floor 
was  the  hard  beaten  ground.  Each  head  of  a 
family  was  given  a  suerte  or  sowing  lot  of  two 


71 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL    RECORD. 


hundred  varas  square,  a  house  lot,  "ten  dollars 
a  month  and  a  soldier's  rations."  Each,  also, 
received  a  yoke  of  oxen,  two  cows,  a  mule,  two 
sheep  and  two  goats,  together  with  the  neces- 
sary implements  and  seed,  all  of  which  were  to 
be  repaid  in  products  of  the  soil  delivered  at  the 
royal  warehouse.  The  first  communal  work 
done  by  the  pobladores  (colonists)  was  to  dam 
the  river,  and  construct  a  ditch  to  irrigate  their 
sowing  fields.  The  dam  was  not  a  success  and 
the  first  sowing  of  grain  was  lost.  The  site  se- 
lected for  the  houses  was  low  and  subject  to 
overflow7. 

During  wet  winters  the  inhabitants  were  com- 
pelled to  take  a  circuitous  route  of  three  leagues 
to  attend  church  service  at  the  mission  of  Santa 
Clara.  After  enduring  this  state  of  affairs 
through  seven  winters  they  petitioned  the 
governor  for  permission  to  remove  the  pu- 
eblo further  south  on  higher  ground.  The  gov- 
ernor did  not  have  power  to  grant  the  request. 
The  petition  was  referred  to  the  comandante- 
general  of  the  Intendencia  in  Mexico  in  1785. 
He  seems  to  have  studied  over  the  matter  two 
years  and  having  advised  with  the  asesor-general 
"finally  issued  a  decree,  June  21,  1787,  to  Gov- 
ernor Fages,  authorizing  the  settlers  to  remove 
to  the  "adjacent  loma  (hill)  selected  by  them  as 
more  useful  and  advantageous  without  chang- 
ing or  altering,  for  this  reason,  the  limits  and 
boundaries  of  the  territory  or  district  assigned 
to  said  settlement  and  to  the  neighboring  Mis- 
sion of  Santa  Clara,  as  there  is  no  just  cause 
why  the  latter  should  attempt  to  appropriate  to 
herself  that  land." 

Having  frequently  suffered  from  floods,  it 
would  naturally  be  supposed  that  the  inhabi- 
tants, permission  being  granted,  moved  right 
away.  They  did  nothing  of  the  kind.  Ten  years 
passed  and  they  were  still  located  on  the  old 
marshy  site,  still  discussing  the  advantages  of 
the  new  site  on  the  other  side  of  the  river. 
Whether  the  padres  of  the  Mission  of  Santa 
Clara  opposed  the  moving  does  not  appear  in 
the  records,  but  from  the  last  clause  of  tin-  com- 
andante-general's  decree  in  which  he  says  "there 
is  nnt  just  cause  why  the  latter  i  the  Mission  of 
Santa  Clara)  should  attempt  to  appropriate  to 
herself  the  land,"  it  would  seem  that  the  mission 


padres  were  endeavoring  to  secure  the  new  site 
or  at  least  prevent  its  occupancy.  There  was  a 
dispute  between  the  padres  and  the  pobladores 
over  the  boundary  line  between  the  pueblo  and 
mission  that  outlived  the  century.  After  hav- 
ing been  referred  to  the  titled  officials,  civil  and 
ecclesiastical,  a  boundary  line  was  finally  estab- 
lished, July  24,  1801,  that  was  satisfactory  to 
both.  "According  to  the  best  evidence  I  have 
discovered,"  says  Hall  in  his  History  of  San 
Jose,  "the  removal  of  the  pueblo  took  place  in 
1707."  just  twenty  years  after  the  founding.  In 
1798  the  juzgado  or  town  hall  was  built.  It 
was  located  on  Market  street  near  El  Dorado 
street. 

The  area  of  a  pueblo  was  four  square  leagues 
(Spanish)  or  about  twenty-seven  square  miles. 
This  was  sometimes  granted  in  a  square  and 
sometimes  in  a  rectangular  form.  The  pueblo 
lands  were  divided  into  classes:  Solares,  house 
lots;  suertes  (chance),  sowing  fields,  so  named 
because  they  were  distributed  by  lot;  propios, 
municipal  lands  or  lands  the  rent  of  which  went 
to  defray  municipal  expenses;  ejidas,  vacant 
suburbs  or  commons;  dehesas,  pasture  where 
the  large  herds  of  the  pueblo  grazed;  realenges, 
nival  lands  also  used  for  raising  revenue;  these 
were  unappropriated  lands. 

From  various  causes  the  founding  of  the  sec- 
ond pueblo  had  been  delayed.  In  the  latter  part 
of  1779,  active  preparations  were  begun  for  car- 
rying out  the  plan  of  founding  a  presidio  and 
three  missions  on  the  Santa  Barbara  Channel 
and  a  pueblo  on  the  Rio  Forciuncula  to  be 
named  "Reyna  de  Los  Angeles."  The  comand- 
ante-general  of  the  Four  Interior  Provinces  of 
the  West  (which  embraced  the  Californias,  So- 
nora,  Xew  Mexico  and  Viscaya),  Don  Teodoro 
de  Croix  or  "El  Cavallero  de  Croix,"  "The 
Knight  of  the  Cross,"  as  he  usually  styled  him- 
self, gave  instructions  to  Don  Fernando  de  Ri- 
vera v  Moncada  to  recruit  soldiers  and  settlers 
for  the  proposed  presidio  and  pueblo  in  Xueva 
California.  1  le,  Rivera,  crossed  the  gulf  and  be- 
gart  recruiting  in  Sonora  and  Sinaloa.  His  in- 
structions were  to  secure  twenty-four  settlers, 
whn  were  heads  of  families.  They  must  be  ro- 
bust and  well  behaved,  so  that  they  might  set 
a  good  example  to  the  natives.     Their  families 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


must  accompany  them  and  unmarried  female 
relatives  must  be  encouraged  to  go,  with  the 
view  to  marrying  them  to  bachelor  sol- 
diers. 

According  to  the  regulations  drafted  by  Gov- 
ernor Felipe  de  Neve,  June  i,  1779,  for  the  gov- 
ernment of  the  province  of  California  and  ap- 
proved by  the  king,  in  a  royal  order  of  the  24th 
of  October,  1781,  settlers  in  California  from  the 
older  provinces  were  each  to  be  granted  a  house 
lot  and  a  tract  of  land  for  cultivation.  Each 
poblador  in  addition  was  to  receive  $116.50  a 
year  for  the  first  two  years,  "the  rations  to  be 
understood  as  comprehended  in  this  amount, 
and  in  lieu  of  rations  for  the  next  three  years 
they  will  receive  $60  yearly." 

Section  3  of  Title  14  of  the  Reglamento  pro- 
vided that  "To  each  poblador  and  to  the  com- 
munity of  the  pueblo  there  shall  be  given  under 
condition  of  repayment  in  horses  and  mules  fit 
to  be  given  and  received,  and  in  the  payment  of 
the  other  large  and  small  cattle  at  the  just  prices, 
which  are  to  be  fixed  by  tariff,  and  of  the  tools 
and  implements  at  cost,  as  it  is  ordained,  two 
mares,  two  cows,  and  one  calf,  two  sheep  and 
two  goats,  all  breeding  animals,  and  one  yoke  of 
oxen  or  steers,  one  plow  point,  one  hoe,  one 
spade,  one  axe,  one  sickle,  one  wood  knife,  one 
musket  and  one  leather  shield,  two  horses  and 
one  cargo  mule.  To  the  community  there  shall 
likewise  be  given  the  males  corresponding  to 
the  total  number  of  cattle  of  different  kinds  dis- 
tributed amongst  all  the  inhabitants,  one  forge 
and  anvil,  six  crowbars,  six  iron  spades  or  shov- 
els and  the  necessary  tools  for  carpenter  and 
cast  work."  For  the  government's  assistance  to 
the  pobladores  in  starting  their  colony  the  set- 
tlers were  required  to  sell  to  the  presidios  the 
surplus  products  of  their  lands  and  herds  at  fair 
prices,  which  were  to  be  fixed  by  the  govern- 
ment. 

The  terms  offered  to  the  settlers  were  cer- 
tainly liberal,  and  by  our  own  hardy  pioneers, 
who  in  the  closing  years  of  the  last  century  were 
making  their  way  over  the  Alleghany  mountains 
into  Ohio,  Kentucky  and  Tennessee,  they  would 
have  been  considered  munificent;  but  to  the  in- 
dolent and  energyless  mixed  breeds  of  Sonora 
and   Sinaloa  thev  were   no   inducement.     After 


spending  nearly  nine  months  in  recruiting,  Ri- 
vera was  able  to  obtain  only  fourteen  pobladores, 
but  little  over  half  the  number  required,  and  two 
of  these  deserted  before  reaching  California. 
The  soldiers  that  Rivera  had  recruited  for  Cal- 
ifornia, forty-two  in  number,  with  their  families, 
were  ordered  to  proceed  overland  from  Alamos, 
in  Sonora,  by  way  of  Tucson  and  the  Colorado 
river  to  San  Gabriel  Mission.  These  were  com- 
manded by  Rivera  in  person. 

Leaving  Alamos  in  April,  1781,  they  arrived 
in  the  latter  part  of  June  at  the  junction  of  the 
Gila  and  Colorado  rivers.  After  a  short  delay 
to  rest,  the  main  company  was  sent  on  to  San 
Gabriel  Mission.  Rivera,  with  ten  or  twelve 
soldiers,  remained  to  recruit  his  live  stock  before 
crossing  the  desert.  Tw-o  missions  had  been  es- 
tablished on  the  California  side  of  the  Colorado 
the  previous  year.  Before  the  arrival  of  Rivera 
the  Indians  had  been  behaving  badly.  Rivera's 
large  herd  of  cattle  and  horses  destroyed  the 
mesquite  trees  and  intruded  upon  the  Indians' 
melon  patches.  This,  with  their  previous  quar- 
rel with  the  padres,  provoked  the  savages  to  an 
uprising.  They,  on  July  17,  attacked  the  two 
missions,  massacred  the  padres  and  the  Spanish 
settlers  attached  to  the  missions  and  killed  Ri- 
vera and  his  soldiers,  forty-six  persons  in  all. 
The  Indians  burned  the  mission  buildings. 
These  were  never  rebuilt  nor  was  there  any  at- 
tempt made  to  convert  the  Yumas.  The  hos- 
tility of  the  Yumas  practicall)  closed  the  Colo- 
rado route  to  California  for  many  years. 

The  pobladores  who  had  been  recruited  for 
the  founding  of  the  new  pueblo,  with  their  fami- 
lies and  a  military  escort. all  under  the  command 
of  Lieut.  Jose  Zuniga.  crossed  the  gulf  from 
Guaymas  to  Loreto,  in  Lower  California,  and  1>> 
the  16th  of  May  were  ready  for  their  long  jour 
ney  northward.  In  the  meantime  two  of  the  re- 
cruits had  deserted  and  one  was  left  behind  at 
Loreto.  On  the  [8th  of  August  the  eleven  who 
had  remained  faithful  to  their  contract,  with 
their  families,  arrived  at  San  Gabriel.  On  ac- 
count of  smallpox  among  some  of  the  children 
the  1  ompanj   was  pla  intine  about  a 

league  from  the  mission. 

On  the  26th  of  August,  1781,  from  San  Ga- 
briel, Governor  de  Neve  issued  his  instructions 


7G 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RFCORD. 


for  the  founding  of  Los  Angeles,  which  gave 
some  additional  rules  in  regard  to  the  distribu- 
tion of  lots  not  found  in  the  royal  reglamento 
previously  mentioned. 

(  In  the  4th  of  September,  1781,  the  colonists, 
with  a  military  escort  headed  by  Governor  Fe- 
lip  de  Neve,  took  up  their  line  of  march  from 
the  Mission  San  Gabriel  to  the  site  selected  for 
their  pueblo  on  the  Rio  de  Porciuncula.  There, 
with  religious  ceremonies,  the  Pueblo  de  Nues- 
tra  Senora  La  Reina  de  Los  Angeles  was  for- 
mally founded.  A  mass  was  said  by  a  priest 
from  the  Mission  San  Gabriel,  assisted  by  the 
choristers  and  musicians  of  that  mission.  There 
were  salvos  of  musketry  and  a  procession  with 
a  cross,  candlestick,  etc.  At  the  head  of  the 
procession  the  soldiers  bore  the  standard  of 
Spain  and  the  women  followed  bearing  a  ban- 
ner with  the  image  of  our  Lady  the  Queen  of 
the  Angels.  This  procession  made  a  circuit  of 
the  plaza,  the  priest  blessing  it  and  the  building 
lots.  At  the  close  of  the  services  Governor  de 
Neve  made  an  address  full  of  good  advice  to  the 
colonists.  Then  the  governor,  his  military  es- 
corj  and  the  priests  returned  to  San  Gabriel  and 
the  colonists  were  left  to  work  out  their 
destiny. 

Few  of  the  great  cities  of  the  land  have  had 
such  humble  founders  as  Los  Angeles.  Of  the 
eleven  pobladores  who  built  their  huts  of  poles 
and  tule  thatch  around  the  plaza  vieja  one  hun- 
dred and  twenty-two  years  ago,  not  one  could 
read  or  write.  Not  one  could  boast  of  an  un- 
mixed ancestry.  They  were  mongrels  in  race, 
Caucasian,  Indian  and  Negro  mixed.  Poor  in 
purse,  poor  in  blood,  poor  in  all  the  sterner  qual- 
ities  of  character  that  our  own  hardy  pioneers 
of  the  wot  possessed,  they  left  no  impress  on 
the  city  they  founded;  and  the  conquering  race 
that  possesses  the  land  that  they  colonized  has 
for-.. t ten  them.  No  street  or  landmark  in  the 
city  bears  the  name  of  any  one  of  them.  No 
monument  or  tablet  marks  the  spot  where  they 
planted  the  germ  of  their  settlement.  No  Fore- 
fathers' daj  preserves  the  memory  of  their  serv- 
ice- and  sacrifices.  Their  name-,  race  and  the 
number  of  persons  in  each  family  have  been 
preserved  in  the  archives  of  California.  They 
are  as  follows: 


i.  Jose  de  Lara,  a  Spaniard  (or  reputed  to  be 
"lie.  although  it  is  doubtful  whether  he  was  of 
pure  blood)  had  an  Indian  wife  and  three  chil- 
dren. 

-'.  Jose  Antonio  Navarro,  a  Mestizo,  forty- 
two  years  old;  wife  a  mulattress;  three  children. 

3.  Pasilio  Rosas,  an  Indian,  sixty-eight  years 
old,  had  a  mulatto  wife  and  two  children. 

4.  Antonio  Mesa,  a  negro,  thirty-eight  years 
old;  had  a  mulatto  wife  and  two  children. 

5.  Antonio  Felix  Yillavicencio,  a  Spaniard, 
thirty  years  old;  had  an  Indian  wife  and  one 
child. 

6.  Jose  Yanegas,  an  Indian,  twenty-eight 
years  old;  had  an  Indian  wife  and  one  child. 

7.  Alejandro  Rosas,an  Indian,  nineteen  vcars 
old,  and  had  an  Indian  wife.  (In  the  records, 
'  wife,  Coyote-Indian.") 

8.  Pablo  Rodriguez,  an  Indian,  twenty-five 
years  old;  had  an  Indian  wife  and  one  child. 

9.  Manuel  Camero,  a  mulatto,  thirty  years 
old;  had  a  mulatto  wife. 

10.  Luis  Ouintero,  a  negro,  fifty-five  years 
old,  and  had  a  mulatto  wife  and  five  children. 

1 1 .  Jose  Morena,  a  mulatto,  twenty-two 
years  old,  and  had  a  mulatto  wife. 

Antonio  Miranda,  the  twelfth  person  described 
in  the  padron  (list)  as  a  Chino,  fifty  years  old 
and  having  one  child,  was  left  at  Loreto  when 
the  expedition  marched  northward.  It  would 
have  been  impossible  for  him  to  have  rejoined 
the  colonists  before  the  founding,  Fresumablv 
his  child  remained  with  him,  consequently  there 
were  but  forty-four  instead  of  "forty-six  persons 
in  all."  Col.  J.  J.  Warner,  in  his  "Historical 
Sketch  of  Los  Angeles,"  originated  the  fiction 
that  one  of  the  founders  (Miranda,  the  Chino.) 
was  born  in  China.  Chino,  while  it  does  mean  a 
(  hiuaman,  is  also  applied  in  Spanish-American 
countries  to  persons  or  animals  having  curly 
hair.  Miranda  was  probably  of  mixed  Spanish 
and  Negro  blood,  and  curly  haired.  There  is 
no  record  to  show  that  Miranda  ever  came  to 
\lta   California. 

When  Jose  de  Galvez  was  fitting  out  the  ex- 
pedition for  occupying  San  Diego  and  Monte- 
rey, he  issued  a  proclamation  naming  St.  Jo- 
seph a-  the  patron  saint  of  his  California  colon- 
ization  scheme.      Hearing  this   fact   in   mind,   no 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL  RECORD. 


doubt,  Governor  de  Neve,  when  he  founded  San 
Jose,  named  St.  Joseph  its  patron  saint.  Hav- 
ing named  one  of  the  two  pueblos  for  San  Jose 
it  naturally  followed  that  the  other  should  be 
named  for  Santa  Maria,  the  Queen  of  the  An- 
gels, wife  of  San  Jose. 

On  the  ist  of  August,  1769,  Portola's  expedi- 
tion, on  its  journey  northward  in  search  of  Mon- 
terey Bay,  had  halted  in  the  San  Gabriel  valley 
near  where  the  Mission  Yieja  was  afterwards  lo- 
cated, to  reconnoiter  the  country  and  "above 
all,"  as  Father  Crespi  observes,  "for  the  purpose 
of  celebrating  the  jubilee  of  Our  Lady  of  the 
Angels  of  Porciuncula."  Xext  day,  August  2, 
after  traveling  about  three  leagues  (nine  miles). 
Father  Crespi,  in  his  diary,  says:  "We  came  to 
a  rather  wide  Canada  having  a  great  many  Cot- 
tonwood and  alder  trees.  Through  it  ran  a 
beautiful  river  toward  the  north-northeast  and 
curving  around  the  point  of  a  cliff  it  takes  a  di- 
rection to  the  south.  Toward  the  north-north- 
east we  saw  another  river  bed  which  must  have 
been  a  great  overflow,  but  we  found  it  dry.  This 
arm  unites  with  the  river  and  its  great  floods 
during  the  rainy  season  are  clearly  demon- 
strated by  the  many  uprooted  trees  scattered 
along  the  banks."  (This  dry  river  is  the  Arroyo 
Seco.)  "We  stopped  not  very  far  from  the  river, 
to  which  we  gave  the  name  of  Porciuncula." 
Porciuncula  is  the  name  of  a  hamlet  in  Italy- 
near  which  was  located  the  little  church  of  Our 
Lady  of  the  Angels,  in  which  St.  Francis  of  As- 
sisi  was  praying  when  the  jubilee  was  granted 
him.  Father  Crespi,  speaking  of  the  plain 
through  which  the  river  flows,  says:  "This  is 
the  best  locality  of  all  those  we  have  yet  seen 
for  a  mission,  besides  having  all  the  resources 
required  for  a  large  town."  Padre  Crespi  was 
evidently  somewhat  of  a  prophet. 

The  fact  that  this  locality  had  for  a  number 
of  years  borne  the  name  of  "(  lur  Lady  of  the 
Angels  of  Porciuncula"  may  have  influenced 
Governor  de  Neve  to  locate  his  pueblo  here. 
The  full  name  of  the  town,  El  Pueblo  de  Nuestra 
Seiiora  La  Reyna  de  Los  Angeles,  was  seldom 
used.  It  was  too  long  for  everyday  use.  In  the 
earlier  years  of  the  town's  history  it  seems  to 
have  had  a  variety  of  names.  It  appears  in  the 
records  as  El  Pueblo  de  Nuestra  Sefiora  de  I  os 


Angeles,  as  El  Pueblo  de  La  Reyna  de  Los  An- 
geles and  as  El  Pueblo  de  Santa  Maria  de  Los 
Angeles.  Sometimes  it  was  abbreviated  to 
Santa  Maria,  but  it  was  most  commonly  spoken 
of  as  El  Pueblo,  the  town.  At  what  time  the 
name  of  Rio  Porciuncula  was  changed  to  Rio' 
Los  Angeles  is  uncertain.  The  change  no  doubt 
was  gradual. 

The  site  selected  for  the  pueblo  of  Lis  An- 
geles was  picturesque  and  romantic.  From 
where  Alameda  street  now  is  to  the  eastern 
bank  of  the  river  the  land  was  covered  with  a 
dense  growth  of  willows,  cottonwoods  and  al- 
ders: while  here  and  there,  rising  above  the 
swampy  copse,  towered  a  giant  aliso  (sycamore I. 
Wild  grapevines  festooned  the  branches  of  the 
trees  and  wild  roses  bloomed  in  profusion.  Be- 
hind the  narrow  shelf  of  mesa  land  where  the 
pueblo  was  located  rose  the  brown  hills,  and  in 
the  distance  towered  the  lofty  Sierra  Madre 
mountains. 

The  last  pueblo  founded  in  California  undei 
Spanish  domination  was  Villa  de  Branciforte, 
'ocated  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  river  from 
the  Mission  of  Santa  Cruz.  It  was  named  after 
the  Viceroy  Branciforte.  It  was  designed  as  a 
coast  defense  and  a  place  to  colonize  discharged 
soldiers.  The  scheme  was  discussed  for  a  con 
siderable  time  before  anything  was  done.  Gov- 
ernor Borica  recommended  "that  an  adobe 
house  be  built  for  each  settler  so  that  the  prev- 
alent state  of  things  in  San  Jose  and  Los  An- 
geles, where  the  settlers  still  live  in  tule  huts,  he 
ing  unable  to  build  better  dwellings  without 
neglecting  their  fields,  may  he  prevented,  the 
houses  to  cost  not  over  two  hundn 

The  first  detachment  of  the  colonists  arrived 
Ma\  u,  1707.  on  the  Concepcion  in  a  destitute 
condition.  Lieutenant  Moraga  was  sent  to  su 
perintend  the  construction  of  houses  for  the 
ci  1I1  mists.  I  le  was  instructed  to  build  temporary 
huts  for  himself  and  the  guard,  then  to  build 
some  larger  buildings  to  accommodate  fifteen  or 
twenty  families  each.  These  were  to  he  tem- 
porary. (  )nly  nine  families  came  and  they  were 
of  a  vagabond  class  that  bad  a  constitutional 
antipathy   to   work.     The   settlers   received 


•■Bancroft's  1 1 


of  Califoi 


78 


HISTORICAL   AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


same  amount  of  supplies  and  allowance  of 
money  as  the  colonists  of  San  Jose  and  Los 
Angeles.  Although  the  colonists  were  called 
Spaniards  and  assumed  to  be  of  a  superior  race 
to  the  first  settlers  of  the  other  pueblos,  they 
made  less  progress  and  were  more  unruly  than 
the  mixed  and  mongrel  inhabitants  of  the  older 
pueblos. 

Although  at  the  close  of  the  century  three 
decades  had  passed  since  the  first  settlement  was 
made  in  California,  the  colonists  had  made  but 
little  progress.  Three  pueblos  of  gente  de  razon 
had  been  founded  and  a  few  ranchos  granted  to 
e*-soldiers.  Exclusive  of  the  soldiers,  the  white 
population  in  the  year  1S00  did  not  exceed  six 
hundred.  The  people  lived  in  the  most  primi- 
tive manner.  There  was  no  commerce  and  no 
manufacturing  except  a  little  at  the  missions. 
Their  houses  were  adobe  huts  roofed  with  tule 
thatch.    The  floor  was  the  beaten  earth  and  the 


scant  furniture  home-made.  There  was  a  scarcity 
of  cloth  for  clothing.  Padre  Salazar  relates  that 
when  he  was  at  San  Gabriei  Mission  in  1795  a 
man  who  had  a  thousand  horses  and  cattle  in 
proportion  came  there  to  beg  cloth  for  a  shirt, 
for  none  could  be  had  at. the  pueblo  of  Los  An- 
geles nor  at  the  presidio  of  Santa  Barbara. 

Hermanagildo  Sal,  the  comandante  of  San 
Francisco,  writing  to  a  friend  in  1799.  says,  "I 
send  you.  by  the  wife  of  the  pensioner  Jose 
Barbo,  one  piece  of  cotton  goods  and  an  ounce 
of  sewing  silk.  There  are  no  combs  and  I  have 
no  hope  of  receiving  any  for  three  years."  Think 
of  waiting  three  years  for  a  comb! 

Eighteen  missions  had  been  founded  at  the 
close  of  the  century.  Except  at  a  few  of  the 
older  missions,  the  buildings  were  temporary 
structures.  The  neophytes  for  the  most  part 
were  living  in  wigwams  constructed  like  those 
they  had  occupied  in  their  wild  state. 


CHAPTER  VIII. 


THE    PASSING    OF    SPAIN'S    DOMINATION. 


THE  Spaniards  were  not  a  commercial  peo- 
ple. I  heir  great  desire  was  to  be  let  alone 
in  their  American  possessions.  Philip  II. 
once  promulgated  a  decree  pronouncing  death 
upon  any  foreigner  who  entered  the  Gulf  of 
Mexico.  It  was  easy  to  promulgate  a  decree  or 
to  pass  restrictive  laws  against  foreign  trade,  but 
quite  another  thing  to  enforce  them. 

\iht  the  first  settlement  of  California  seven- 
teen  years  passed  before  a  foreign  vessel  entered 
any  of  its  ports.  The  first  to  arrive  were  the 
two  vi  ssels  of  the  French  explorer,  La  Perouse, 
who  anchored  in  the  harbor  of  Monterey,  Sep- 
tember 15.  1786.  Being  of  the  same  faith,  and 
France  having  been  an  ally  of  Spain  in  former 
limes,  he  was  well  received.  During  his  brief 
stay  he  made  a  study  of  the  mission  system  and 
his  observations  on  it  are  plainly  given.  He 
found  a  similarity  in  it  to  the  slave  plantations 
of  Santo  Domingo.  November  14.  170J,  the 
English  navigator,  Capt.  George  Vancouver,  in 
the    >liip    Discovery,   entered   the    l'a\    of   San 


Francisco.  He  was  cordially  received  by  the 
comandante  of  the  port,  Hermanagildo  Sal,  and 
the  friars  of  the  mission.  On  the  20th  of  the 
month,  with  several  of  his  officers,  he  visited  the 
Mission  of  Santa  Clara,  where  he  was  kindly 
treated.  He  also  visited  the  Mission  of  San 
Carlos  de  Monterey.  He  wrote  an  interesting 
account  of  his  visit  and  his  observations  on  the 
country.  Vancouver  was  surprised  at  the  back- 
wardness of  the  country  and  the  antiquated  cus- 
toms of  the  people.  He  says:  "Instead  of  find- 
ing a  country  tolerably  well  inhabited,  and  far 
advanced  in  cultivation,  if  we  except  its  natural 
pastures,  flocks  of  sheep  and  herds  of  cattle, 
there  is  not  an  object  to  indicate  the  most  re- 
mote connection  with  any  European  or  other 
civilized  nation."  On  a  subsequent  visit.  Cap- 
tain Vancouver  met  a  chilly  reception  from  the 
acting  governor,  Arrillaga.  The  Spaniards  sus- 
pected him  of  spying  out  the  weakness  of  their 
defenses.  Through  the  English,  the  Spaniards 
became   acquainted   with   the    importance   and 


HISTORICAL  AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


value  of  the  fur  trade.  The  bays  and  lagoons  of 
California  abounded  in  sea  otter.  Their  skins 
were  worth  in  China  all  the  way  from  $30  to 
$100  each.  The  trade  was  made  a  government 
monopoly.  The  skins  were  to  be  collected  from 
the  natives,  soldiers  and  others  by  the  mission- 
aries, at  prices  ranging  from  $2.50  to  $10  each, 
and  turned  over  to  the  government  officials  ap- 
pointed to  receive  them.  All  trade  by  private 
persons  was  prohibited.  The  government  was 
sole  trader.  But  the  government  failed  to  make 
the  trade  profitable.  In  the  closing  years  of 
the  century  the  American  smugglers  began  to 
haunt  the  coast.  The  restrictions  against  trade 
with  foreigners  were  proscriptive  and  the  penal- 
ties for  evasion  severe,  but  men  will  trade  under 
the  most  adverse  circumstances.  Spain  was  a 
long  way  off,  and  smuggling  was  not  a  very 
venal  sin  in  the  eyes  of  layman  or  churchman. 
Fast  sailing  vessels  were  fitted  out  in  Boston 
for  illicit  trade  on  the  California  coast.  Watch- 
ing their  opportunities,  these  vessels  slipped 
into  the  bays  and  inlets  along  the  coast.  There 
was  a  rapid  exchange  of  Yankee  notions  for  sea 
otter  skins,  the  most  valued  peltry  of  California, 
and  the  vessels  were  out  to  sea  before  the  rev- 
enue officers  could  intercept  them.  If  success- 
ful in  escaping  capture,  the  profits  of  a  smug- 
gling voyage  were  enormous,  ranging  from  500 
to  1,000  per  cent  above  cost  on  the  goods  ex- 
changed; but  the  risks  were  great.  The  smug- 
gler had  no  protection ;  he  was  an  outlaw.  He 
was  the  legitimate  prey  of  the  padres,  the  peo- 
ple and  the  revenue  officers.  The  Yankee  smug- 
gler usually  came  out  ahead.  His  vessel  was 
heavily  armed,  and  when  speed  or  stratagem 
[ailed  he  was  ready  to  fight  his  way  out  of  a 
scrape. 

Each  year  two  ships  were  sent  from  San 
Bias  with  the  memorias — mission  and  presidio 
supplies.  These  took  back  a  small  cargo  of  the 
products  of  the  territory,  wheat  being  the  prin- 
cipal. This  was  all  the  legitimate  commerce 
allowed  California. 

The  fear  of  Russian  aggression  had  been  one 
of  the  causes  that  had  forced  Spain  to  attempt 
the  colonization  of  California.  Bering,  in  1741. 
had  discovered  the  strait  that  bears  his  name 
and  had  taken  possession,  for  the  Russian  gov 


eminent,  of  the  northwestern  coast  of  America. 
Four  years  later,  the  first  permanent  Russian 
settlement,  Sitka,  had  been  made  on  one  of  the 
coast  islands.  Rumors  of  the  Russian  explora- 
tions and  settlements  had  reached  Madrid  and 
in  1774  Captain  Perez,  in  the  San  Antonia,  was 
sent  up  the  coast  to  find  out  what  the  Russians 
were  doing. 

Mad  Russian  America  contained  arable  land 
where  grain  and  vegetables  could  have  been 
grown,  it  is  probable  that  the  Russians  and 
Spaniards  in  America  would  not  have  come  in 
contact;  for  another  nation,  the  United  States, 
had  taken  possession  of  the  intervening  coun- 
try, bordering  the  Columbia  river. 

The  supplies  of  breadstuffs  for  the  Sitka  col- 
onists had  to  be  sent  overland  across  Siberia 
or  shipped  around  Cape  Horn.  Failure  of  sup- 
plies sometimes  reduced  the  colonists  to  sore 
straits.  In  1806,  famine  and  diseases  incident 
to  starvation  threatened  the  extinction  of  the 
Russian  colony.  Count  Rezanoff,  a  high  officer 
of  the  Russian  government,  had  arrived  at  the 
Sitka  settlement  in  September,  1805.  The  des- 
titution prevailing  there  induced  him  to  visit 
California,  with  the  hope  of  obtaining  relief  for 
the  starving  colonists.  In  the  ship  Juno  (pur- 
chased from  an  American  trader),  with  a  scurvy 
afflicted  crew,  he  made  a  perilous  voyage  down 
the  stormy  coast  and  on  the  5th  of  April,  1806, 
anchored  safely  in  the  Bay  of  San  Francisco. 
He  had  brought  with  him  a  cargo  of  goods  for 
exchange  but  the  restrictive  commercial  regula- 
tions of  Spain  prohibited  trade  with  foreigners. 
Although  the  friars  and  the  people  needed  the 
goods  the  governor  could  not  allow  the  ex- 
change. Count  Rezanoff  would  be  permitted  to 
purchase  grain  for  cash,  but  the  Russian's  ex- 
chequer was  nol  plethoric  and  his  ship  was  al- 
ready loaded  with  g Is.     Love  thai  laughs  at 

locksmiths  eventually  unlocked  the  sh 
that  hampered  commerce  Rezanoff  fell  in  love 
with  Dona  Concepcion,  the  beautiful  daughter 
of  Don  Jose  Arguello,  the  comandante  of  San 
Francisco,  and  an  old  lime  friend  of  the  gov- 
ernor, Vrrillaga.  The  attraction  was  mutual. 
Through  the  influem  1  ncepcion,  the 

friars  and    \i  gi  \  ernor  was  ;• 

to  sanction  a  plan  by  which  cash  was  the  sup- 


Ml 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL    RECORD. 


posed  medium  of  exchange  on  both  sides,  but 
grain  on  the  one  side  and  goods  on  the  other 
were  the  real  currency. 

The  romance  of  Rezanoff  and  Dona  Concep- 
cion  had  a  sad  ending.  On  his  journey  through 
Siberia  to  St.  Petersburg  to  obtain  the  consent 
of  the  emperor  to  his  marriage  he  was  killed 
by  a  fall  from  his  horse.  It  was  several  years 
before  the  news  of  his  death  reached  his  af- 
fianced bride.  Faithful  to  his  memory,  she  never 
married,  but  dedicated  her  life  to  deeds  of  char- 
ity. After  Rezanoff's  visit  the  Russians  came 
frequently  to  California,  partly  to  trade,  but 
more  often  to  hunt  otter.  While  on  these  fur 
hunting  expeditions  they  examined  the  coast 
north  of  San  Francisco  with  the  design  of  plant- 
ing an  agricultural  colony  where  they  could 
raise  grain  to  supply  the  settlements  in  the  far 
north.  In  1812  they  founded  a  town  and  built 
a  fort  on  the  coast  north  of  Bodega  Cay,  which 
they  named  Ross.  The  fort  mounted  ten  guns. 
They  maintained  a  fort  at  Bodega  Bay  and  also 
a  small  settlement  on  Russian  river.  The  Span- 
iards protested  against  this  aggression  and 
threatened  to  drive  the  Russians  out  of  the  ter- 
ritory, but  nothing  came  of  their  protests  and 
they  were  powerless  to  enforce  their  demands. 
The  Russian  ships  came  to  California  for  sup- 
plies and  were  welcomed  by  the  people  and  the 
friars  if  not  by  the  government  officials.  The 
Russian  colony  at  Ross  was  not  a  success.  The 
ignorant  soldiers  and  the  Aluets  who  formed 
the  bulk  of  its  three  or  four  hundred  inhab- 
itants, knew  little  or  nothing  about  farming  and 
were  too  stupid  to  learn.  After  the  decline  of 
fur  hunting  the  settlement  became  unprofitable. 
In  1841  the  buildings  and  the  stock  were  sold 
by  the  Russian  governor  to  ("apt.  John  A.  Sut- 
ter for  S^i.ooo.  The  settlement  was  abandoned 
and  the  fort  and  tin-  town  arc  in  ruins. 

On  the  15th  of  September,  1810,  the  patriot 
priest,  .Miguel  Hidalgo,  struck  the  first  blow 
for  Mexican  independence.  The  revolution 
which  began  in  the  province  of  Guanajuato  was 
at  firM  regarded  by  the  authorities  as  a  mere 
riot  of  ignorant  Indians  thai  would  be  speedily 
suppressed.  But  the  insurrection  spread  rap- 
idly. Foul;  years  of  oppression  ami  cruelty  hail 
instilled  into  the  hearts  of  the  people  an  undy- 


ing hatred  for  their  Spanish  oppressors.  Hidalgo 
soon  found  himself  at  the  head  of  a  motley 
army,  poorly  armed  and  undisciplined,  but  its 
numbers  swept  away  opposition.  Unfortunately 
through  over-confidence  reverses  came  and  in 
March,  181 1,  the  patriots  met  an  overwhelming 
defeat  at  the  bridge  of  Calderon.  Hidalgo  was 
betrayed,  captured  and  shot.  Though  sup- 
pressed for  a  time,  the  cause  of  independence 
was  not  lost.  For  eleven  years  a  fratricidal  war 
was  waged — cruel,  bloody  and  devastating.  Al- 
lende,  Alina.  Moreles,  Alama,  Rayon  and  other 
patriot  leaders  met  death  on  the  field  of  battle 
or  were  captured  and  shot  as  rebels,  but  "Free- 
dom's battle"  bequeathed  from  bleeding  sire  to 
son  was  won  at  last. 

Of  the  political  upheavals  that  shook  Spain 
in  the  first  decades  of  the  century  only  the  faint- 
est rumblings  reached  far  distant  California. 
Notwithstanding  the  many  changes  of  rulers 
that  political  revolutions  and  Napoleonic  wars 
gave  the  mother  country,  the  people  of  Califor- 
nia remained  loyal  to  the  Spanish  crown,  al- 
though at  times  they  must  have  been  in  doubt 
who   wore   the   crown. 

Arrillaga  was  governor  of  California  when 
the  war  of  Mexican  independence  began.  Al- 
though born  in  Mexico  he  was  of  pure  Spanish 
parentage  and  was  thoroughly  in  sympathy  with 
Spain  in  the  contest.  He  did  not  live  to  see  the 
end  of  the  war.  He  died  in  1814  and  was  suc- 
ceeded by  Pablo  Vicente  de  Sola.  Sola  was 
Spanish  born  and  was  bitterly  opposed  to  the 
revolution,  even  going  so  far  as  to  threaten 
death  to  any  one  who  should  speak  in  favor  of 
it.  Fie  had  received  his  appointment  from 
Viceroy  Calleja,  the  butcher  of  Guanajuato,  the 
crudest  and  most  bloodthirsty  of  the  vice  regal 
governors  of  new  Spain.  The  friars  were  to  a 
man  loyal  to  Spain.  The  success  of  the  repub- 
lic meant  tin-  downfall  of  their  domination. 
The)  hated  republican  ideas  and  regarded 
their  dissemination  as  a  crime.  They  were  the 
ruling  power  in  California.  The  governors 
and  the  people  were  subservient  to  their 
wishes. 

The  decade  between  1810  and  1820  was 
marked  by  two  important  events,  the  year  of  the 
earthquakes   and    the   year    of    the   insurgents. 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL  RECORD. 


si 


The  year  1812  was  the  Ano  de  los  Temblores. 
The  seismic  disturbance  that  for  forty  years  or 
more  had  shaken  California  seemed  to  concen- 
trate in  power  that  year  and  expend  its  force 
on  the  mission  churches.  The  massive  church 
of  San  Juan  Capistrano,  the  pride  of  mission 
architecture,  was  thrown  down  ami  forty  per- 
sons killed.  The  wails  of  San  Gabriel  Mission 
were  cracked  and  some  of  the  saints  shaken  out 
of  their  niches.  At  San  Buenaventura  there 
were  three  heavy  shocks  which  injured  the 
church  so  that  the  tower  and  much  of  the  facade 
had  to  be  rebuilt.  The  whole  mission  site 
seemed  to  settle  and  the  inhabitants,  fearful 
that  they  might  be  engulfed  by  the  sea,  moved 
up  the  valley  about  two  miles,  where  they  re- 
mained three  months.  At  Santa  Barbara  both 
church  and  the  presidio  were  damaged  and  at 
Santa  Inez  the  church  was  shaken  down.  The 
quakes  continued  for  several  months  and  the 
people  were  so  terrified  that  they  abandoned 
their  houses  and  lived  in  the  open  air. 

The  other  important  epoch  of  the  decade  was 
El  Ano  de  los  Insurgentes,  the  year  of  the  in- 
surgents. In  November,  18 18,  Bouchard,  a 
Frenchman  in  the  service  of  Buenos  Ayres  and 
provided  with  letters  of  marque  by  San  Mar- 
tain,  the  president  of  that  republic,  to  prey  upon 
Spanish  commerce,  appeared  in  the  port  of 
Monterey  with  two  ships  carrying  sixty-six 
guns  and  three  hundred  and  fifty  men.  He  at- 
tacked Monterey  and  after  an  obstinate  re- 
sistance by  the  Californians,  it  was  taken  by  the 
insurgents  and  burned.  Bouchard  next  pillaged 
Ortega's  rancho  and  burned  the  buildings. 
Then  sailing  down  the  coast  he  scared  the  Santa 
Barbaranos;  then  keeping  on  down  he  looked 
into  San  Pedro,  but  finding  nothing  there  to 
tempt  him  he  kept  on  to  San  Juan  Capistrano. 
There  he  landed,  robbed  the  mission  of  a  few 
articles  and  drank  the  padres'  wine.  Then  he 
sailed  away  and  disappeared.  He  left  six  of  his 
men  in  California,  among  them  Joseph  Chap- 
man of  Boston,  the  first  American  resident  of 
California. 

In  the  early  part  of  the  last  century  there 
was    a    limited    commerce    with    Lima.     That 


being  a  Spanish  dependency,  trade  with  it  was 
not  prohibited.  Gilroy,  who  arrived  in  Califor- 
nia in  1814.  says  in  his  reminiscences:* 

"The  only  article  of  export  then  was  tallow, 
of  which  one  cargo  was  sent  annually  to  Callao 
in  a  Spanish  ship.  This  tallow  sold  for  $1.50 
per  hundred  weight  in  silver  or  $2.00  in  trade 
or  goods.  Hides,  except  those  used  for  tallow 
bags,  were  thrown  away.  Wheat,  barley  and 
beans  had  no  market.  Nearly  everything  con- 
sumed by  the  people  was  produced  at  home. 
There  was  no  foreign  trade." 

As  the  revolution  in  Mexico  progressed 
times  grew  harder  in  California.  The  mission 
niemorias  ceased  to  come.  Xo  tallow  ships  from 
Callao  arrived.  The  soldiers'  pay  was  years  in 
arrears  and  their  uniforms  in  rags.  What  little 
wealth  there  was  in  the  country  was  in  the 
hands  of  the  padre..  'I  hey  were  supreme.  "The 
friars,"  says  Gilroy,  "had  even  thin-  their  own 
way.  The  governor  and  the  military  were  ex- 
pected to  do  whatever  the  friars  requested.  The 
missions  contained  all  the  wealth  of  the  coun- 
try." The  friars  supported  the  government  and 
supplied  the  troops  with  food  from  the  products 
of  the  neophytes'  labor.  The  crude  manufac- 
turers of  the  missions  supplied  the  people  with 
cloth  for  clothing  and  some  other  necessities. 
The  needs  of  the  common  people  were  easily 
satisfied.  They  were  not  used  to  Iuxurii 
were  they  accustomed  to  what  we  would  now 
consider  necessities.  Gilroy,  in  the  reminis- 
cences heretofore  referred  to,  states  that  at  the 
time  of  his  arrival  (1814)  "There  was  not  a  saw- 
mill, whip  .-aw  or  spoked  wheel  in  California. 
Such  lumber  as  was  used  was  cut  with  an  axe. 

Chairs,  tables  and  w 1   flooi 

lound  except  in  the  governor's  house.  Plates 
were  rare  unless  that  name  could  be  applied  to 
the  tiles  used  instead.  Money  was  a  rarity. 
There  were  no  stores  and  no  merchandise  to 
sell.  There  was  no  employment  for  a  laborer. 
The  neophytes  did  all  the  work  and  all  the  busi- 
ness of  tlie  country  was  in  the  hands  of  the 
friars." 


*Alta  California,  June  25,   1865. 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


CHAPTER   IX. 


FROM    EMPIRE    TO    REPUBLIC. 


THE  condition  of  affairs  in  California  stead- 
ily grew  worse  as  the  revolution  in  Mex- 
ico progressed.  Sola  had  made  strenuous 
efforts  to  arouse  the  Spanish  authorities  of  New 
Spain  to  take  some  action  towards  benefiting  the 
territory.  Alter  the  affair  with  the  insurgent 
Bouchard  he  had  appealed  to  the  viceroy  for  re- 
inforcements. In  answer  to  his  urgent  entreaties 
a  force  of  one  hundred  men  was  sent  from  Ma- 
zatlan  to  garrison  San  Diego  and  an  equal  force 
from  San  Bias  for  Monterey.  They  reached  Cal- 
ifornia in  August,  1819,  and  Sola  was  greatly- 
rejoiced,  but  his  joy  was  turned  to  deep  disgust 
when  he  discovered  the  true  character  of  the  re- 
inforcement and  arms  sent  him.  The  only  equip- 
ments of  the  soldiers  were  a  few  hundred  did 
worn-out  sabers  that  Sola  declared  were  unfit 
for  sickles.  He  ordered  them  returned  to  the 
comandante  of  San  Bias,  who  had  sent  them. 
The  troops  were  a  worse  lot  than  the  arms  sent. 
They  had  been  taken  out  of  the  prisons  or  con- 
scripted from  the  lowest  class  of  the  population 
of  the  cities.  They  were  thieves,  drunkards  and 
vagabonds,  who,  as  soon  as  landed,  resorted  to 
robberies,  brawls  and  assassinations.  Sola  wrote 
to  the  viceroy  that  the  outcasts  called  troops 
sent  him  from  the  jails  of  Tepic  and  San  Bias 
by  their  vices  caused  continual  disorders;  their 
evil  example  had  debauched  the  minds  of  the 
Indians  and  that  the  cost  incurred  in  their  col- 
let! inn  ami  transportation  had  been  worse  than 
thrown  away,  lie  could  not  get  rid  of  them, 
s<>  he  had  to  control  them  as  best  he  could. 
Governor  Sola  labored  faithfully  to  benefit  the 
country  over  which  be  had  been  placed  and  to 
arouse  the  Spanish  authorities  in  Mexico  to  do 
something  tor  the  advancement  of  California; 
but  the  government  did  nothing.  Indeed  it  was 
in  no  condition  to  ,1,.  anything.  The  revolution 
would  not  down.  No  sooner  was  one  revolution- 
ary leader  suppressed  and  the  rebellion  ap- 
parently crushed  than  there  was  an  uprising  in 


some  other  part  of  the  country  under  a  new 
leader. 

Ten  years  of  intermittent  warfare  had  been 
waged — one  army  of  patriots  after  another  had 
been  defeated  and  the  leaders  shot;  the  strug- 
gle for  independence  was  almost  ended  and  the 
royalists  were  congratulating  themselves  on  the 
triumph  of  the  Spanish  crown,  when  a  sudden 
1  hange  came  and  the  vice  regal  government 
that  lor  three  hundred  years  had  swayed  the 
destinies  of  Xew  Spain  went  down  forever. 
Agustin  Iturbide,  a  colonel  in  the  royal  army, 
who  in  February,  1821,  had  been  sent  with  a 
corps  of  five  thousand  men  from  the  capital  to 
the  Sierras  near  Aeapulco  to  suppress  Guerrero, 
the  last  of  the  patriot  chiefs,  suddenly  changed 
his  allegiance,  raised  the  banner  of  the  revolu- 
tion and  declared  for  the  independence  of  Mex- 
ico under  the  plan  of  Iguala,  so  named  for  the 
town  where  it  was  first  proclaimed.  The  central 
ideas  of  the  plan  were  "Union,  civil  and  re- 
ligious liberty." 

There  was  a  general  uprising  in  all  parts  of 
the  country  and  men  rallied  to  the  support  of  the 
Army  of  the  Three  Guarantees,  religion,  union, 
independence.  Guerrero  joined  forces  with 
Iturbide  and  September  21.  1821,  at  the  head 
of  sixteen  thousand  men,  amid  the  rejoicing  of 
the  people,  they  entered  the  capital.  The  viceroy 
was  compelled  to  recognize  the  independence  of 
Mexico.  A  provisional  government  under  a 
regency  was  appointed  at  first,  but  a  few  months 
later  Iturbide  was  crowned  emperor,  taking  the 
title  of  his  most  serene  majesty,  Agustin  I.,  by 
divine  providence  and  by  the  congress  of  the 
nation,   first   constitutional  emperor  of  Mexico. 

Sola  had  heard  rumors  of  the  turn  affairs 
were  taking  in  Mexico,  but  he  had  kept  the  re- 
ports a  secret  and  still  hoped  and  prayed  for 
the  success  of  the  Spanish  arms.  At  length  a 
vessel  appeared  in  the  harbor  of  Monterey  float- 
ing an  unknown  flag,  and  cast  anchor  beyond 


i 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL  RECORD. 


the  reach  of  the  guns  of  the  castillo.  The  sol- 
diers were  called  to  arms.  A  boat  from  the  ship 
put  off  for  shore  and  landed  an  officer,  who  de- 
clared himself  the  bearer  of  dispatches  to  Don 
Pablo  Vicente  de  Sola,  the  governor  of  the 
province.  "I  demand,"  said  he,  "to  be  con- 
ducted to  his  presence  in  the  name  of  my  sov- 
ereign, the  liberator  of  Mexico,  General  Agustin 
de  Iturbide."  There  was  a  murmur  of  applause 
from  the  soldiers,  greatly  to  the  surprise  of  their 
officers,  who  were  all  loyalists.  Governor  Sola 
was  bitterly  disappointed.  Only  a  few  days  be- 
fore he  had  harangued  the  soldiers  in  the  square 
of  the  presidio  and  threatened  "to  shoot  down 
any  one  high  or  low  without  the  formality  of  a 
trial  who  dared  to  say  a  word  in  favor  of  the 
traitor  Iturbide." 

For  half  a  century  the  banner  of  Spain  had 
floated  from  the  flag  staff  of  the  presidio  of 
Monterey.  Sadly  Sola  ordered  it  lowered  and 
in  its  place  was  hoisted  the  imperial  flag  of  the 
Mexican  Empire.  A  few  months  pass,  Iturbide 
is  forced  to  abdicate  the  throne  of  empire  and 
is  banished  from  Mexico.  The  imperial  stand- 
ard is  supplanted  by  the  tricolor  of  the  republic. 
Thus  the  Californians,  in  little  more  than  one 
year,  have  passed  under  three  different  forms 
of  government,  that  of  a  kingdom,  an  empire 
and  a  republic,  and  Sola  from  the  most 
loyal  of  Spanish  governors  in  the  kingdom 
of  Spain  has  been  transformed  in  a  Mexican 
republican. 

The  friars,  if  possible,  were  more  bitterly  dis- 
appointed than  the  governor.  They  saw  in  the 
success  of  the  republic  the  doom  of  their  estab- 
lishments. Republican  ideas  were  repulsive  to 
them.  Liberty  meant  license  to  men  to  think 
for  themselves.  The  shackles  of  creed  ami  the 
fetters  of  priestcraft  would  be  loosened  by  the 
growth  of  liberal  ideas.  It  was  not  strange, 
viewing  the  question  from  their  standpoint,  that 
they  refused  to  take  the  oath  of  allegiance  to 
the  republic.  Nearly  all  of  them  were  Spanish 
born.  Spain  had  aided  them  to  plant  their  mis- 
sions, had  fostered  their  establishments  ami  had 
made  them  supreme  in  the  territory.  Their  al- 
legiance was  due  to  the  Spanish  crown.  They 
would  not  transfer  it  to  a  republic  and  th'ey  did 
not;  to  the  last  they   were    loyal    to  Spain   in 


heart,  even  if  they  did  acquiesce  in  the  ob- 
servance of  the  rule  of  the  republic. 

Sola  had  long  desired  to  be  relieved  of  the 
governorship.  He  was  growing  old  and  was  in 
poor  health.  The  condition  of  the  country  wor- 
ried him.  He  had  frequently  asked  to  be  re- 
lieved and  allowed  to  retire  from  military  duty. 
His  requests  were  unheeded;  the  vice  regal 
government  of  New  Spain  had  weightier  mat- 
ters to  attend  to  than  requests  or  the  complaints 
of  the  governor  of  a  distant  and  unimportant 
province.  The  inauguration  of  the  empire 
brought  him  the  desired  relief. 

Under  the  empire  Alta  California  was  allowed 
a  diputado  or  delegate  in  the  imperial  congress. 
Sola  was  elected  delegate  and  took  his  de- 
parture for  Mexico  in  the  autumn  of  1822.  Luis 
Antonio  Arguello,  president  of  the  provincial 
diputacion,  an  institution  that  had  come  into  ex- 
istence after  the  inauguration  of  the  empire,  be- 
came governor  by  virtue  of  his  position  as 
president.  He  was  the  first  hijo  del  pais  or  na- 
tive of  the  country  to  hold  the  office  of  gov- 
ernor. He  was  born  at  San  Francisco  in  17S4, 
while  his  father,  an  ensign  at  the  presidio,  was 
in  command  there.  His  opportunities  for  ob- 
taining an  education  were  extremely  meager, 
but  he  made  the  best  use  of  what  he  had.  lie 
entered  the  army  at  sixteen  and  was,  at  the  time 
he  became  temporary  governor,  comandante  at 
San    Francisco. 

The  inauguration  of  a  new  form  of  govern- 
ment had  brought  no  relief  to  California.  The 
two  Spanish  ships  that  had  annually  brought 
los  memorias  del  rev  (the  remembrances  of  the 
king)  had  long  since  ceased  to  come  with  their 
supplies  of  money  and  goods  for  the  soldiers. 
The  California  ports  were  closed  to  foreign  com- 
merce. There  was  no  sale  for  the  products  of 
the  country.  So  the  missions  had  10  throw  open 
their  warehouses  and  relieve  the  necessities  of 
the   government. 

The  change  in  the  form  of  government  had 
made  no  change  in  the  dislike  of  foreigners, 
that  was  a  characteristic  of  the  Spaniard.  1  lur- 
ing the  Spanish  era  very  few  foreigners  had 
been  allowed  to  remain  in  California.  Run- 
awa\  sailors  an  ed  mariners,  notwith- 

standing they  might  wish  to  remain  in  the  coun- 


M 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


try  and  become  Catholics,  were  shipped  to 
Mexico  and  returned  to  their  own  country. 
John  Gilroy,  whose  real  name  was  said  to  be 
John  Cameron,  was  the  first  permanent  English 
speaking  resident  of  California.  When  a  boy 
of  eighteen  he  was  left  by  the  captain  of  a  Hud- 
son Bay  company's  ship  at  Monterey  in  1814. 
He  was  sick  with  the  scurvy  and  not  expected 
to  live.  Nursing  and  a  vegetable  diet  brought 
him  out  all  right,  but  he  could  not  get  away. 
He  did  not  like  the  country  and  every  day  for 
several  years  he  went  down  to  the  beach  and 
scanned  the  ocean  for  a  foreign  sail.  When  one 
did  come  he  had  gotten  over  his  home-sickness, 
had  learned  the  language,  fallen  in  love,  turned 
Catholic  and  married. 

In  1822  William  E.  P.  Hartnell,  an  English- 
man, connected  with  a  Lima  business  house, 
visited  California  and  entered  into  a  contract 
with  Padre  Payeras,  the  prefect  of  the  missions, 
for  the  purchase  of  hides  and  tallow.  Hartnell 
a  few  years  later  married  a  California  lady  and 
became  a  permanent  resident  of  the  territory. 
Other  foreigners  who  came  about  the  same  time 
as  Hartnell  and  who  became  prominent  in  Cal- 
ifornia were  William  A.  Richardson,  an  Eng- 
lishman; Capt.  John  R.  Cooper  of  Boston  and 
William  A.  Gale,  also  of  Boston.  Gale  had  first 
visited  California  in  1810  as  a  fur  trader.  He 
returned  in  1822  on  the  ship  Sachem,  the  pioneer 
Boston  hide  drogher.  The  hide  drogher  was 
in  a  certain  sense  the  pioneer  emigrant  ship 
of  California.  It  brought  to  the  coast  a 
number  of  Americans  who  became  permanent 
residents  of  the  territory.  California,  on  ac- 
count of  its  long  distance  from  the  world's 
marts  of  trade,  had  but  few  products  for  ex- 
change that  would  bear  the  cost  of  shipment. 
Its  chief  commodities  for  barter  during  the 
Mexican  era  were  hides  and  tallow.  The  vast 
range  of  country  adapted  to  cattle  raising  made 
that  its  most  profitable  industry.  Cattle  in- 
creased rapidly  and  required  but  little  care  or 
on  from  their  owners.  Vs  the  native  Cal- 
ifornians  were  averse  to  hard  labor  cattle  rais- 
ing became  almost  the  sole  industry  of  the 
country. 

\fh>-  the   inauguration   of  a   republican  form 
of   government    in    Mexico    some    of    the    most 


burdensome  restrictions  on  foreign  commerce 
were  removed.  The  Mexican  Congress  of  1824 
enacted  a  colonization  law,  which  was  quite 
liberal.  Under  it  foreigners  could  obtain  land 
from  the  public  domain.  The  Roman  Catholic 
religion  was  the  state  religion  and  a  foreigner, 
before  he  could  become  a  permanent  resident  of 
the  country,  acquire  property  or  marry,  was 
required  to  be  baptized  and  embrace  the  doc- 
trines of  that  church.  After  the  Mexican  Con- 
gress repealed  the  restrictive  laws  against  for- 
eign commerce  a  profitable  trade  grew  up 
between  the  New  England  ship  owners  and  the 
Californians. 

Vessels  called  hide  droghers  were  fitted  out 
in  Boston  with  assorted  cargoes  suitable  for  the 
California  trade.  Making  the  voyage  by  way  of 
Cape  Horn  they  reached  California.  Stopping 
at  the  various  ports  along  the  coast  they  ex- 
changed their  stocks  of  goods  and  Yankee 
notions  for  hides  and  tallow.  It  took  from  two 
to  three  years  to  make  a  voyage  to  California 
and  return  to  Boston,  but  the  profits  on  the 
goods  sold  and  on  the  hides  received  in  ex- 
change were  so  large  that  these  ventures  paid 
handsomely.  The  arrival  of  a  hide  drogher 
with  its  department  store  cargo  was  heralded 
up  and  down  the  coast.  It  broke  the  monotony 
of  existence,  gave  the  people  something  new 
to  talk  about  and  stirred  them  up  as  nothing 
else  could  do  unless  possibly  a  revolution. 

'*On  the  arrival  of  a  new  vessel  from  the 
United  States,"  says  Robinson  in  his  "Life  in 
California,"  "every  man,  woman,  boy  and  girl 
took  a  proportionate  share  of  interest  as  to  the 
qualities  of  her  cargo.  If  the  first  inquired  for 
rice,  sugar  or  tobacco,  the  latter  asked  for  prints, 
silks  and  satins;  and  if  the  boy  wanted  a  Wil- 
son's jack  knife,  the  girl  hoped  that  there  might 
be  some  satin  ribbons  for  her.  Thus  the  whole 
population  hailed  with  eagerness  an  arrival.  Even 
the  Indian  in  his  unsophisticated  style  asked  for 
Panas  Colorados  and  Abalaris — red  handker- 
chiefs and  beads. 

"After  the  arrival  of  our  trading  vessel  (at  San 
Pedro)  our  friends  came  in  the  morning  flock- 
ing on  board  from  all  quarters;  and  soon  a  busy 
scene  commenced  afloat  and  ashore.  Boats 
were   passing   to   the   beach,   and    men,   women 


HISTORICAL   AXD    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


85 


and  children  partaking  in  the  general  excite- 
ment. On  shore  all  was  confusion,  cattle  and 
carts  laden  with  hides  and  tallow,  gente  de  razon 
and  Indians  busily  employed  in  the  delivery  of 
their  produce  and  receiving  in  return  its  value 
in  goods.  Groups  of  individuals  seated  around 
little  bonfires  upon  the  ground,  and  horsemen 
racing  over  the  plains  in  every  direction.  Thus 
the  day  passed,  some  arriving,  some  departing, 
till  long  after  sunset,  the  low  white  road,  lead- 
ing across  the  plains  to  the  town  (Los  Angeles), 
appeared  a  living  panorama." 

The  commerce  of  California  during  the  Mex- 
ican era  was  principally  carried  on  by  the  hide 
droghers.  The  few  stores  at  the  pueblos  and 
presidios  obtained  their  supplies  from  them 
and  retailed  their  goods  to  customers  in  the  in- 
tervals between  the  arrivals  of  the  department 
store  droghers. 

The  year  1824  was  marked  by  a  serious  out- 
break among  the  Indians  of  several  missions. 
Although  in  the  older  missionary  establish- 
ments many  of  the  neophytes  had  spent  half  a 
century  under  the  Christianizing  influence  of 
the  padres  and  in  these,  too,  a  younger  genera- 
tion had  grown  from  childhood  to  manhood 
under  mission  tutelage,  yet  their  Christian  train- 
ing had  not  eliminated  all  the  aboriginal  sav- 
agery from  their  natures.  The  California  Indians 
were  divided  into  numerous  small  tribes,  each 
speaking  a  different  dialect.  The}-  had  never 
learned,  like  the  eastern  Indians  did,  the  ad- 
vantages of  uniting  against  a  common  enemy. 
When  these  numerous  small  tribes  were  gath- 
ered into  the  missions  they  were  kept  as  far  as 
it  was  possible  separate  and  it  is  said  the  padres 
encouraged  their  feuds  and  tribal  animosities  to 
prevent  their  uniting  against  the  missionaries. 
Their  long  residence  in  the  missions  had  de- 
stroyed their  tribal  distinctions  and  merged 
them  into  one  body.  It  had  taught  them,  too, 
the  value  of  combination. 

How  long  the  Indians  had  been  plotting  no 
one  knew.  The  conspiracy  began  among  the 
neophytes  of  Santa  Ynez  and  La  Purisima,  but 
it  spread  to  the  missions  of  San  Luis  <  ibispo, 
Santa  Barbara,  San  Buenaventura,  San  Fer- 
nando and  San  Gabriel.  Their  plan  was  to  mas- 
sacre  the   padres   and    the    mission    guard    and 


having  obtained  arms  to  kill  all  the  genie  de 
razon  and  thus  free  themselves  from  mission 
thralldom  and  regain  their  old  time  freedom. 
The  plotting  had  been  carried  on  with  great 
secrecy.  Rumors  had  passed  from  mission  to 
mission  arranging  the  details  of  the  uprising 
without  the  whites  suspecting  anything.  Sunday, 
February  22,  [824,  was  the  day  set  for  begin- 
ning the  slaughter.  At  the  hour  of  celebrating 
mass,  when  the  soldiers  and  the  padre-  were 
within  the  church,  the  bloody  work  was  to  be- 
gin. The  plot  might  have  succeeded  had  not 
the  Indians  at  Santa  Ynez  began  their  work 
prematurely.  One  account  (Hindi's  History  of 
California)  says  that  on  Saturday  afternoon  be- 
fore the  appointed  Sunday  they  determined  to 
begin  the  work  by  the  murder  of  Padre-  Fran- 
cisco Xavier  Una,  who  was  sleeping  in  a  cham- 
ber next  the  mission  church.  He  was  warned 
by  a  faithful  page.  Springing  from  his  couch 
and  rushing  to  a  window  he  saw  the  Indians  ap- 
proaching. Seizing  a  musket  from  several  that 
were  in  the  room  he  shot  the  first  Indian  that 
reached  the  threshold  dead.  He  seized  a  sec- 
ond musket  and  laid  another  Indian  low.  The 
soldiers  now  rallied  to  his  assistance  and  the 
Indians  were  driven  back:  they  set  fire  to  the 
mission  church,  but  a  small  body  of  troops  un- 
der Sergeant  Carrillo,  sent  from  Santa  Barbara 
to  reinforce  the  mission  guard,  coming  up  at 
this  time,  the  Indians  lied  to  Purisima.  The 
fire  was  extinguished  before  the  church  was 
consumed.  At  Purisima  the  Indians  were  more 
successful.  The  mission  was  defended  by  Cor- 
poral Tapia  and  five  soldiers.  The  Indians  de- 
manded that  Tapia  surrender,  but  tin-  corporal 
refused.  The  tight  began  and  continued  all 
night.  The  Indians  set  fire  to  the  building,  but 
all  they  could  burn  was  the  rafters.  Tapia.  by  a 
strategic  movement,  succeeded  in  collecting  all 
the  soldiers  and  the  women  and  children  inside 
the  walls  of  one  of  the  largest  buildings  from 
which  the  roof  had  been  burnt.  From  this  the 
Indians  could  nol  dislodge  him.  The  fighl  was 
kept  up  till  morning,  when  one  of  the  Indians, 
who  had  been  a  mission  alcade,  made  a  prop- 
osition to  the  corporal  to  surrender,  Tapia  re- 
fused to  consider  it,  Km  Father  Bias  I  >rdaz  in- 
terfered and  insisted  1  imise.     After 


HISTORICAL   AXD    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


much  contention  Tapia  found  himself  overruled. 
The  Indians  agreed  to  spare  the  lives  of  all  on 
condition  that  the  whites  laid  down  their  arms. 
The  soldiers  laid  down  their  arms  and  sur- 
rendered two  small  cannon  belonging  to  the 
church.  The  soldiers,  the  women  and  the  chil- 
dren were  then  allowed  to  march  to  Santa  Ynez. 
While  the  fight  was  going  on  the  Indians  killed 
four  white  men,  two  of  them,  Dolores  Sepulveda 
and  Ramon  Satelo,  were  on  their  way  to  Los 
Angeles  and  came  to  the  mission  not  suspecting 
any  danger.  Seven  Indians  were  killed  in  the 
fight  and  a  number  wounded. 

The  Indians  at  Santa  Barbara  began  hostilities 
according  to  their  prearranged  plot.  They  made 
an  attack  upon  the  mission.  Captain  de  la 
( iuerra,  who  was  in  command  at  the  presidio, 
marched  to  the  mission  and  a  fight  of  several 
hours  ensued.  The  Indians  sheltered  them- 
selves behind  the  pillars  of  the  corridor  and 
fought  with  guns  and  arrows.  After  losing  sev- 
eral of  their  number  they  lied  to  the  hills.  Four 
soldiers  were  wounded.  The  report  of  the  up- 
rising reached  Monterey  and  measures  were 
taken  at  once  to  subdue  the  rebellious 
neophytes.  A  force  of  one  hundred  men  was 
sent  under  Lieut.  Jose  Estrada  to  co-operate 
with  Captain  de  la  Guerra  against  the  rebels. 
(  )n  the  t6th  of  .March  the  soldiers  surrounded 
the  Indians  who  had  taken  possession  of  the 
mission  church  at  Purisima  and  opened  fire 
Upon  them.  The  Indians  replied  with  their  cap- 
tured cannon,  muskets  and  arrows.  Estrada's 
artillery  battered  down  the  walls  of  the  church. 
The  Indian-,  unused  to  arms,  did  little  execu- 
tion. Driven  out  of  the  wrecked  building,  they 
attempted  to  make  their  escape  by  llight,  but 
wire  intercepted  by  tlie  cavalry  which  had  been 
deployed  for  that  purpose.    Finding  themselves 


hemmed  in  on  all  sides  the  neophytes  sur- 
rendered. They  had  lost  sixteen  killed  and  a 
large  number  of  wounded.  Seven  of  the  prison- 
ers were  shot  for  complicity  in  the  murder  of 
Sepulveda  and  the  three  other  travelers.  The 
four  leaders  in  the  revolt,  Mariano  Pacomio, 
Benito  and  Bernabe,  were  sentenced  to  ten 
years  hard  labor  at  the  presidio  and  eight  oth- 
ers to  lesser  terms.  There  were  four  hundred 
Indians  engaged  in  the  battle. 

The  Indians  of  the  Santa  Barbara  missions 
and  escapes  from  Santa  Ynez  and  Purisima 
made  their  way  over  the  mountains  to  the 
Tulares.  A  force  of  eighty  men  under  com- 
mand of  a  lieutenant  was  sent  against  these. 
The  troops  had  two  engagements  with  the  reb- 
els, whom  they  found  at  Buenavista  Lake  and 
San  Emigdio.  Finding  his  force  insufficient  to 
subdue  them  the  lieutenant  retreated  to  Santa 
Barbara.  Another  force  of  one  hundred  and 
thirty  men  under  Captain  Portilla  and  Lieuten- 
ant Valle  was  sent  after  the  rebels.  Father 
Ripoll  had  induced  the  governor  to  offer  a  gen- 
eral pardon.  The  padre  claimed  that  the  In- 
dians had  not  harmed  the  friars  nor  committed 
sacrilege  in  the  church  and  from  his  narrow- 
view  these  were  about  the  only  venal  sins  they 
could  commit.  The  troops  found  the  fugitive 
neophytes  encamped  at  San  Emigdio.  They 
now  professed  repentance  for  their  misdeeds  and 
were  willing  to  return  to  mission  life  if  they 
could  escape  punishment.  Padres  Ripoll  and 
Sarria,  who  had  accompanied  the  expedition, 
entered  into  negotiations  with  the  Indians;  par- 
don was  promised  them  for  their  offenses.  They 
then  surrendered  and  marched  back  with  the 
soldiers  to  their  respective  missions.  This  was 
the  last  attempt  of  the  Indians  to  escape  from 
mission  rule. 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


CHAPTER   X. 

FIRST    DECADE    OF    MEXICAN    RULE. 


JOSE  MARIA  ECHEANDIA,  a  lieutenant 
colonel  of  the  Mexican  army,  was  ap- 
pointed governor  of  the  two  Californias, 
February  i,  1825.  With  his  staff  officers  and 
a  few  soldiers  he  landed  at  Loreto  June 
22.  After  a  delay  of  a  few  months  at  Lo- 
reto he  marched  overland  to  San  Diego, 
where  he  arrived  about  the  middle  of  October. 
He  summoned  Arguello  to  meet  him  there, 
which  he  did  and  turned  over  the  government, 
October  31,  1825.  Echeandia  established  his 
capital  at  San  Diego,  that  town  being  about  the 
center  of  his  jurisdiction.  This  did  not  suit  the 
people  of  Monterey,  who  become  prejudiced 
against  the  new  governor.  Shortly  after  his 
inauguration  he  began  an  investigation  of  the 
attitude  of  the  mission  friars  towards  the  re- 
public of  Mexico.  He  called  padres  Sanches, 
Zalvidea,  Peyri  and  Martin,  representatives  of 
the  four  southern  missions,  to  San  Diego  and 
demanded  of  them  whether  they  would  take  the 
oath  of  allegiance  to  the  supreme  government. 
They  expressed  their  willingness  and  were  ac- 
cordingly sworn  to  support  the  constitution  of 
1824.  Many  of  the  friars  of  the  northern  mis- 
sions remained  contumacious.  Among  the 
most  stubborn  of  these  was  Padre  Vicente 
Francisco  de  Sarria,  former  president  of  the 
missions.  He  had  resigned  the  presidency  to 
escape  taking  the  oath  of  allegiance  and  still 
continued  his  opposition.  He  was  put  under  ar- 
rest and  an  order  issued  for  his  expulsion  by 
the  supreme  government,  but  the  execution  of 
the  order  was  delayed  for  fear  that  if  he  were 
banished  others  of  the  disloyal  padres  would 
abandon  their  missions  and  secretly  leave  the 
country.  The  government  was  not  ready  yet  to 
take  possession  of  the  missions.  The  friars 
could  keep  the  neophytes  in  subjection  and 
make  them  work.  The  business  of  the  country 
was  in  the  hands  of  the  friars  and  any  radical 
change  would  have  been  disastrous. 


The  national  government  in  1827  had  issued 
a  decree  for  the  expulsion  of  Spaniards  from 
Mexican  territory.  There  were  certain  classes 
of  those  born  in  Spain  who  were  exempt  from 
banishment,  but  the  friars  were  not  among  the 
exempts.  The  decree  of  expulsion  reached  Cal- 
ifornia in  1828;  but  it  was  not  enforced  for  the 
reason  that  all  of  the  mission  padres  except 
three  were  Spaniards.  To  have  sent  these  out 
of  the  country  would  have  demoralized  the  mis- 
sions. The  Spanish  friars  were  expelled  from 
Mexico;  but  those  in  California,  although  some 
of  them  had  boldly  proclaimed  their  willingness 
to  die  for  their  king  and  their  religion  and  de- 
manded their  passports  to  leave  the  country, 
were  allowed  to  remain  in  the  country.  Their 
passports  were  not  given  them  for  reasons 
above  stated.  Padres  Ripoll  and  Altimira  made 
their  escape  without  passports.  They  secretly 
took  passage  on  an  American  brig  lying  at 
Santa  Barbara.  Orders  were  issued  to  seize  the 
vessel  should  she  put  into  any  other  harbor  on 
the  coast,  but  the  captain,  who  no  doubt  had 
been  liberally  paid,  took  no  chance  of  capture 
and  the  padres  eventually  reached  Spain  in 
safety.  There  was  a  suspicion  that  the  two 
friars  had  taken  with  them  a  large  amount  of 
money  from  the  mission  funds,  but  nothing  was 
proved.  It  was  certain  that  they  carried  away 
something  more  than  the  bag  and  staff,  the  onl) 
property  allowed  them  by  the  rules  of  their 
order. 

The  most  bitter  opponenl  of  the  new  govern- 
ment was  Father  Luis  Antonio  Martinez  of  San 
Luis  Obispo.  Before  the  clandestine  departure 
of  Ripoll  and  Altimira  there  were  rumors  that 
he  meditated  a  secret  departure  From  the  coun- 
try. The  mysterious  shipment  of  $6,000  in  gold 
belonging  to  the  mission  on  a  vessel  called  the 
Santa  Apolonia  gave  credence  to  the  repi 
1  tided  flight.  1  le  had  been  given  a 
port    hill     -till    remained    in    the    territory.       His 


» 


HISTORICAL   AXD    UK  )GRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


outspoken  disloyalty  and  his  well  known  suc- 
cess in  evading  the  revenue  laws  and  smuggling 
goods  ini"  i  lie  country  had  made  him  particu- 
larly obnoxious  to  the  authorities.  Governor 
Echeandia  determined  to  make  an  example  of 
him.  He  was  arrested  m  February,  1830,  and 
confined  in  a  room  at  Santa  Barbara.  In  his 
trial  before  a  council  of  war  an  attempt  was 
made  to  connect  him  with  complicity  in  the  Solis 
revolution,  but  the  evidence  against  him  was 
weak.  P.\  a  vote  of  live  to  one  it  was  decided 
to  send  him  out  of  the  country.  He  was  put 
on  board  an  English  vessel  bound  for  Callao  and 
there  transferred  to  a  vessel  bound  for  Europe; 
he  finally  arrived  safely  at  Madrid. 

Under  the  empire  a  diputacion  or  provincial 
legislature  had  been  established  in  California. 
Arguello  in  1825  had  suppressed  this  while  he 
was  governor.  Echeandia,  shortly  after  his  ar- 
rival, ordered  an  election  for  a  new  diputacion. 
The  diputacion  made  the  general  laws  of  the 
territory.  It  consisted  of  seven  members  called 
vocals.  These  were  chosen  by  an  electoral 
junta,  the  members  .if  which  were  elected  by 
the  people.  The  diputacion  chose  a  diputado  or 
delegate  to  the  Mexican  Congress.  As  it  was  a 
long  distance  for  some  of  the  members  to  travel 
tu  the  territorial  capital  a  suplente  or  substitute 
was  chosen  for  each  member,  so  as  to  assure  a 
quorum.  The  diputacion  called  by  Echeandia 
met  at  Monterey,  June  14,  1828.  The  sessions, 
of  which  there  were  two  each  week,  were  held  in 
the  governor's  palacio.  This  diputacion  passed 
a  rather  peculiar  revenue  law.  It  taxed  domestic 
aguardiente  (grape  brandy)  $5  a  barrel  and 
wine  half  that  amount  in  the  jurisdictions  of 
Monterey  and  San  Francisco;  but  in  the  juris- 
dictions of  Santa  Barbara  and  San  Diego  the 
rates  were  doubled,  brandy  was  taxed  $10 
a  barrel  and  wine  $5.  San  Diego,  Los  An- 
geles and  Santa  Barbara  were  wine  producing 
districts,  while  Monterej  and  San  Francisco 
wire  nut.  As  there  was  a  larger  consumption  of 
the  product  in  the  wine  producing  district-  than 
in  the  others  the  law  was  enacted  for  revenue 
and   not  for   prevention   of  drinking. 

Another  peculiar  freak  of  legislation  perpe- 
trated by  this  diputacion  was  the  attempt  to 
change  the  name  of  the  territory.    The  supreme 


government  was  memorialized  to  change  the 
name  of  Aha  California  to  that  of  Montezuma 
and  also  that  of  the  Pueblo  de  Xuestra  Seriora 
de  los  Angeles  to  that  of  Villa  Victoria  de  la 
Reyna  de  los  Angeles  and  make  it  the  capital 
of  the  territory.  A  coat  of  arms  was  adopted 
for  the  territory.  It  consisted  of  an  oval  with 
the  figure  of  an  oak  tree  on  one  side,  an  olive 
tree  on  the  other  and  a  plumed  Indian  in  the 
center  with  his  bow  and  quiver,  just  in  the 
act  of  stepping  across  the  mythical  straits 
of  Anian.  The  memorial  was  sent  to  Mexico, 
but  the  supreme  government  paid  no  attention 
to  it. 

The  political  upheavals,  revolutions  and  coun- 
ter revolutions  that  followed  the  inauguration 
of  a  republican  form  of  government  in  Mexico 
demoralized  the  people  and  produced  a  prolific 
crop  of  criminals.  The  jails  were  always  full 
and  it  became  a  serious  question  what  to  do 
with  them.  It  was  proposed  to  make  California 
a  penal  colony,  similar  to  England*s  Botany 
Bay.  Orders  were  issued  to  send  criminals  to 
California  as  a  means  of  reforming  their  mor- 
als. The  Californians  protested  against  the 
sending  of  these  undesirable  immigrants,  but  in 
vain.  In  February,  1830,  the  brig  Maria  Ester 
brought  eighty  convicts  from  Acapulco  to  San 
Diego.  They  were  not  allowed  to  land  there 
and  were  taken  to  Santa  Barbara.  What  to 
do  with  them  was  a  serious  question  with  the 
Santa  Barbara  authorities.  The  jail  would  not 
hold  a  tenth  part  of  the  shipment  and  to  turn 
them  loose  in  the  sparsely  settled  country  was 
dangerous  to  the  peace  of  the  community.  Fin- 
ally, about  thirty  or  forty  of  the  worst  of  the 
bad  lot  were  shipped  over  to  the  island  of  Santa 
Cruz.  They  were  given  a  supply  of  cattle,  some 
fishhooks  and  a  few  tools  and  turned  loose  on 
the  island  to  shift  for  themselves.  They  staid 
mi  the  island  until  they  had  slaughtered  and 
eaten  the  cattle,  then  they  built  a  raft  and 
drifted  back  to  Santa  Barbara,  where  they 
quartered  themselves  on  the  padres  of  the  mis- 
sion. Fifty  more  were  sent  from  Mexico  a  few 
months  later.  These  shipments  of  prison  exiles 
were  distributed  around  among  the  settlements. 
Some  served  out  their  time  and  returned  to  their 
native   land,   a    few    escaped     over    the   border, 


HISTORICAL   AXD    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


others  remained  in  the  territory  after  their  time 
was  up  and  became  fairly  good  citizens. 

The  colonization  law  passed  by  the  Mexican 
Congress  August  18,  1824,  was  the  first  break 
in  the  proscriptive  regulations  that  had  pre- 
vailed in  Spanish-American  countries  since  their 
settlement.  Any  foreigner  of  good  character 
who  should  locate  in  the  country  and  become  a 
Roman  Catholic  could  obtain  a  grant  of  public 
land,  not  exceeding  eleven  leagues;  but  no  for- 
eigner was  allowed  to  obtain  a  grant  within 
twenty  leagues  of  the  boundary  of  a  foreign 
country  nor  within  ten  leagues  of  the  sea  coast. 
The  law  of  April  14,  1828,  allowed  foreigners 
to  become  naturalized  citizens.  The  applicant 
was  required  to  have  resided  at  least  two  years 
in  the  country,  to  be  or  to  become  a  Roman 
Catholic,  to  renounce  allegiance  to  his  former 
country  and  to  swear  to  support  the  constitution 
and  laws  of  the  Mexican  republic.  Quite  a 
number  of  foreigners  who  had  been  residing 
a  number  of  years  in  California  took  advantage 
of  this  law  and  became  Mexican  citizens  by  nat- 
uralization. The  colonization  law  of  Novem- 
ber 18,  1828,  prescribed  a  series  of  rules  and 
regulations  for  the  making  of  grants  of  land. 
Colonists  were  required  to  settle  on  ami  culti- 
vate the  land  granted  within  a  specified  time  or 
forfeit  their  grants.  Any  one  residing  outside 
of  the  republic  could  not  retain  possession  of 
his  land.  The  minimum  size  of  a  grant  as  de- 
fined by  this  law  was  two  hundred  varas  square 
of  irrigable  land,  eight  hundred  varas  square 
of  arable  land  (depending  on  the  seasons)  and 
twelve  hundred  varas  square  grazing  land.  The 
size  of  a  house  lot  was  one  hundred  varas 
square. 

The  Californians  had  grown  accustomed  to 
foreigners  coming  to  the  country  by  sea,  but 
they  were  not  prepared  to  have  them  come  over- 
land. The  mountains  and  deserts  that  inter- 
vened between  the  United  States  and  California 
were  supposed  to  be  an  insurmountable  barrier 
to  foreign  immigration  by  land.  It  was  no  doubt 
with  feelings  of  dismay,  mingled  with  anger, 
that  Governor  Echeandia  received  the  advance 
guard  of  maldito  estranjeros,  who  came  across 
the  continent.  Echeandia  hated  foreigners  and 
particularly   Americans.      The    pioneer  of  over- 


land travel  from  the  United  States  to  California 
was  Capt.  Jedediah  S.  Smith.  Smith  was  born 
in  Connecticut  and  when  quite  young  came 
with  his  father  to  Ohio  and  located  in  Ashtabula 
county,  where  he  grew  to  manhood  amid  the 
rude  surroundings  of  pioneer  life  in  the  west. 
By  some  means  he  obtained  a  fairly  good  educa- 
tion. We  have  no  record  of  when  he  began  the 
life  of  a  trapper.  We  first  hear  of  him  as  an 
employe  of  General  Ashley  in  1822.  He  had 
command  of  a  band  of  trappers  on  the  waters  of 
the  Snake  river  in  1824.  Afterwards  he  became 
a  partner  of  Ashley  under  the  firm  name  of 
Ashley  &  Smith  and  subsequently  one  of  the 
members  of  the  Rocky  Mountain  Fur  Company. 
The  latter  company  had  about  1825  established 
a  post  and  fort  near  Great  Salt  Lake.  From 
this,  August  22,  1826,  Captain  Smith  with  a 
band  of  fifteen  hunters  and  trappers  started  on 
his  first  expedition  to  California.  His  object 
was  to  find  some  new  country  that  had  not  been 
occupied  by  a  fur  company.  Traveling  in  a  south- 
westerly direction  he  discovered  a  river  which 
he  named  Adams  (after  President  John  Ouincy 
Vdams)  now  known  as  the  Rio  Virgin.  This 
stream  he  followed  down  to  its  junction  with 
the  Colorado.  Traveling  down  the  latter  river 
he  arrived  at  the  Mojave  villages,  where  he 
rested  fifteen  days.  Here  he  found  two  wander- 
ing neophytes,  who  guided  his  party  across  the 
desert  to  the  San  Gabriel  mission,  where  he  and 
his  men  arrived  safely  early  in  December,  1826. 
The  arrival  of  a  party  of  armed  Americans 
from  across  the  mountains  and  deserts  alarmed 
the  padres  and  couriers  were  hastily  dispatched 
to  Governor  Echeandia  at  San  Diego.  The 
Americans  were  placed  under  arrest  and  com- 
pelled to  give  up  their  arms.  Smith  was  taken 
to  San  Diego  to  give  an  account  of  himself.  1  [e 
claimed  that  he  had  been  compelled  to  enter 
the  territory  on  account  of  the  loss  of  horses 
and  a  scarcity  of  provisions,  lie  was  finally  re- 
leased from  prison  upon  the  endorsement  of 
several  American  ship  captains  and  supercar- 
goes who  were  then  at  San  Diego,  lie  was  a! 
lowed  to  return  to  San  Gabriel,  where  he  pur- 
chased horses  and  supplies.  He  moved  his  camp 
to  San  Bernardino,  where  he  remained  until 
February.     The  authorities  had  grown  uneasy 


90 


HISTORICAL   AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


at  his  continued  presence  in  the  country  and 
orders  were  sent  to  arrest  him,  but  before  this 
could  be  done  he  left  for  the  Tulare  country  by 
way  of  Cajon  Pass.  He  trapped  on  the  tribu- 
taries of  the  San  Joaquin.  By  the  ist  of  May 
he  and  his  party  had  reached  a  fork  of  the  Sac- 
ramento (near  where  the  town  of  Folsom  now 
stands).  Here  he  established  a  summer  camp 
and  the  river  ever  since  has  been  known  as  the 
American  fork  from  that  circumstance. 

Here  again  the  presence  of  the  Americans 
worried  the  Mexican  authorities.  Smith  wrote 
a  conciliatory  letter  to  Padre  Duran,  president 
of  the  missions,  informing  him  that  he  had 
"made  several  efforts  to  pass  over  the  moun- 
tains, but  the  snow  being  so  deep  I  could  not 
succeed  in  getting  over.  I  returned  to  this 
place,  it  being  the  only  point  to  kill  meat,  to 
wait  a  few  weeks  until  the  snow  melts  so  that  I 
can  go  on."  "On  May  20,  1827,"  Smith  writes, 
"with  two  men,  seven  horses  and  two  mules,  I 
started  from  the  valley.  In  eight  days  we 
crossed  Mount  Joseph,  losing  two  horses  and 
one  mule.  After  a  march  of  twenty  days  east- 
ward from  Mount  Joseph  (the  Sierra  Xevadas) 
I  reached  the  southwesterly  corner  of  the  Great 
Salt  Lake.  The  country  separating  it  from  the 
mountains  is  arid  and  without  game.  (  Iften  we 
had  no  water  for  two  days  at  a  time.  When 
we  reached  Salt  Lake  we  had  left  only  one  horse 
and  one  mule,  so  exhausted  that  they  could 
hardl)  carry  our  slight  baggage.  We  had  been 
forced  to  eat  the  horses  that   had  succumbed." 

Smith's  route  over  the  Sierras  to  Salt  Lake 
was  substantially  the  same  as  that  followed  bythe 
overland  emigration  of  later  years.  He  discov- 
ered the  Humboldt,  which  he  named  the  Mary 
river,  a  name  it  bore  until  changed  by  Fremont 
in  1S45.  lie  was  the  first  white  man  to  cross 
the  Sierra  Xevadas.  Smith  left  his  partv  of 
trappers  excepl  the  two  who  accompanied  him 
in  the  Sacramento  valley.  He  returned  next 
year  with  reinforcements  and  was  ordered  out 
of  the  country  by  the  governor.  He  traveled  up 
the  coast  towards  Oregon.  On  the  Umpqua 
river  he  was  attacked  b)  the  Indians.  All  his 
part)  except  himself  and  two  others  were  mas- 
sacred, lie  lost  all  of  his  horses  and  furs,  lie 
reached   Fort   Vancouver    his  clothing  torn  to 


rags  and  almost  starved  to  death.  In  1831  he 
started  with  a  train  of  wagons  to  Santa  Fe  on  a 
trading  expedition.  While  alone  searching  for 
water  near  the  Cimarron  river  he  was  set  upon 
by  a  party  of  Indians  and  killed.  Thus  perished 
by  the  hands  of  cowardly  savages  in  the  wilds  of 
Xew  Mexico  a  man  who.  through  almost  in- 
credible dangers  and  sufferings,  had  explored 
an  unknown  region  as  vast  in  extent  as  that 
which  gave  fame  and  immortality  to  the  African 
explorer,  Stanley;  and  who  marked  out  trails 
over  mountains  and  across  deserts  that  Fre- 
mont following  years  afterwards  won  the  title 
of  " Pathfinder  of  the  Great  West."  Smith  led 
the  advance  guard  of  the  fur  trappers  to  Cali- 
fornia. Notwithstanding  the  fact  that  they  were 
unwelcome  visitors  these  adventurers  continued 
to  come  at  intervals  up  to  1845.  They  trapped 
on  the  tributaries  of  the  San  Joaquin,  Sacramento 
and  the  rivers  in  the  northern  part  of  the  terri- 
tory. A  few  of  them  remained  in  the  country 
and  became  permanent  residents,  but  most  of 
them  sooner  or  later  met  death  by  the  savages. 

Capt.  Jedediah  S.  Smith  marked  out  two  of 
the  great  immigrant  trails  by  which  the  overland 
travel,  after  the  discover)  of  gold,  entered  Cal- 
ifornia, one  by  way  of  the  Humboldt  river  over 
the  Sierra  Xevadas,  the  other  southerly  from 
Salt  Lake,  Utah  Lake,  the  Rio  Virgin,  across 
the  Colorado  desert,  through  the  Cajon  Pass  to 
Los  Angeles.  A  third  immigrant  route  was 
blazed  by  the  Pattie  party.  This  route  led  from 
Santa  Fe,  across  New  Mexico,  down  the  Gila 
to  the  Colorado  and  from  thence  across  the 
desert  through  the  San  Gorgonio  Pass  to  Los 
Angeles. 

This  party  consisted  of  Sylvester  Pattie, 
James  Ohio  Pattie,  his  son,  Nathaniel  M. 
Pryor,  Richard  Laughlin,  Jesse  Furguson,  Isaac 
Slover,  William  Pope  and  James  Puter.  The 
Patties  left  Kentucky  in  1S24  and  followed  trap- 
ping in  Xew  Mexico  and  Arizona  until  1827: 
the  elder  Pattie  for  a  time  managing  the  cop- 
per mines  of  Santa  Rita.  In  May.  1827,  Pattie 
the  elder,  in  command  of  a  part)'  of  thirty  trap- 
pers  and  hunters,  set  out  to  trap  the  tributaries 
of  the  Colorado.  Losses  by  Indian  hostilities, 
b)  dissensions  and  desertions  reduced  the  party 
to   eight    persons.      December    ist,    1827,   while 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL  RECORD. 


!)l 


these  were  encamped  on  the  Colorado  near  the 
mouth  of  the  Gila,  the  Yuma  Indians  stole  all 
their  horses.  They  constructed  rafts  and  floated 
down  the  Colorado,  expecting  to  find  Spanish 
settlements  on  its  hanks,  where  they  hoped  to 
procure  horses  to  take  them  back  to  Santa  Fe. 
They  floated  down  the  river  until  they  encoun- 
tered the  flood  tide  from  the  gulf.  Finding  it 
impossible  to  go  ahead  on  account  of  the  tide 
or  back  on  account  of  the  river  current,  they 
landed,  cached  their  furs  and  traps  and  with 
two  days'  supply  of  beaver  meat  struck  out 
westerly  across  the  desert.  After  traveling  for 
twenty-four  days  and  suffering  almost  incredible 
hardships  they  reached  the  old  Mission  of  Santa 
Catalina  near  the  head  of  the  Gulf  of  California. 
Here  they  were  detained  until  news  of  their  ar- 
rival could  be  sent  to  Governor  Echeandia  at 
San  Diego.  A  guard  of  sixteen  soldiers  was  sent 
for  them  and  they  were  conducted  to  San  Diego, 
where  they  arrived  February  27,  1828.  Their 
arms  were  taken  from  them  and  they  were  put 
in  prison.  The  elder  Pattie  died  during  their 
imprisonment.  In  September  all  the  party  ex- 
cept young  Pattie,  who  was  retained  as  a  host- 
age, were  released  and  permitted  to  go  after 
their  buried  furs.  They  found  their  furs  had  been 
ruined  by  the  overflow  of  the  river.  Two  of  the 
party,  Slover  and  Pope,  made  their  way  back 
to  Santa  Fe;  the  others  returned,  bringing  with 
them  their  beaver  traps.  They  were  again  im- 
prisoned by  Governor  Echeandia,  but  were  fin- 
ally released. 

Three  of  the  party,  Nathaniel  M.  Pryor, 
Richard  Laughlin  and  Jesse  Furguson,  became 
permanent  residents  of  California.  Young  Pat- 
tie returned  to  the  United  States  by  way  of 
Mexico.  After  his  return,  with  the  assistance 
of  the  Rev.  Timothy  Flint,  he  wrote  an  account 
of  his  adventures,  which  was  published  in  Cin- 
cinnati in  1833,  under  the  title  of  "Pattie's  Nar- 
rative." Young  Pattie  was  inclined  to  exaggera- 
tion. In  his  narrative  he  claims  that  with  vac- 
cine matter  brought  by  his  father  from  the 
Santa  Rita  mines  he  vaccinated  twenty-two 
thousand  people  in  California.  In  Los  Angeles 
alone,  he  vaccinated  twenty-five  hundred. 
which  was  more  than  double  the  population  of 
the  town  in  1828.    He  took  a  contract  from  the 


president  of  the  missions  to  vaccinate  all  the 
neophytes  in  the  territory.  When  his  job  was 
finished  the  president  offered  him  in  pay  five 
hundred  cattle  and  five  hundred  mules 
with  land  to  pasture  his  stock  on  condition 
he  would  become  a  Roman  Catholic  and 
a  citizen  of  Mexico.  Pattie  scorned  the  of- 
fer and  roundly  upbraided  the  padre  for  taking 
advantage  of  him.  He  had  previously  given 
Governor  Eacheandia  a  tongue  lashing  and  had 
threatened  to  shoot  him  on  sight.  From  his 
narrative  he  seems  to  have  put  in  most  of  his 
time  in  California  blustering  and  threatening  to 
shoot  somebody. 

Another  famous  trapper  of  this  period  was 
"Peg  Leg"  Smith.  His  real  name  was  Thomas 
L.  Smith.  It  is  said  that  in  a  fight  with  the 
Indians  his  leg  below  the  knee  was  shattered  by 
a  bullet.  He  coolly  amputated  his  leg  at  the 
knee  with  no  other  instrument  than  his  hunting 
knife.  He  wore  a  wooden  leg  and  from  this 
came  his  nickname.  He  first  came  to  California 
in  1829.  He  was  ordered  out  of  the  country. 
He  and  his  party  took  their  departure,  but  with 
them  went  three  or  four  hundred  California 
horses,  lie  died  in  a  San  Francisco  hospital  in 
1866. 

Ewing  Young,  a  famous  captain  of  trappers, 
made  several  visits  to  California  from  [830  to 
[837.  In  1831  he  led  a  party  of  thirty  hunters 
and  trappers,  among  those  of  his  party  who 
remained  in  California  was  Col.  J.  J.  Warner, 
who  became  prominent  in  the  territory  and 
state.  In  1837  Ewing  Young  with  a  party  of 
sixteen  men  came  down  from  Oregon,  where 
he  finally  located,  to  purchase  cattle  for  the  new 
settlements  on  the  Willamette  river.  They 
bought  seven  hundred  cattle  at  $3  per  head  from 
the  government  and  drove  them  overland  to 
(  Iregon,  reaching  there  after  a  toilsome  journey 
of  four  months  with  six  hundred.  Young  died 
!i'  (  >regon  in  [841. 

From  the  downfall  of  Spanish  domination  in 
1822,  to  the  close  of  thai  decade  there  had  been 
but  few  political  disturbances  in  California.  The 
only  one  of  any  consequence  was  Solis'  and 
Herrera's  attempt  to  revolutionize  the  territory 
and  seize  the  government.  Jose  Maria  Herrera 
had  come  to  Califoi  -  missioner  of 


92 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


the  commissary  department,  but  after  a  short 
term  of  service  had  been  removed  from  office 
for  fraud.  Joaquin  Solis  was  a  convict  who  was 
serving  a  ten  years  sentence  of  banishment  from 
Mexico.  The  ex-official  and  the  exile  with  oth- 
ers of  damaged  character  combined  to  overturn 
the  government. 

On  the  night  of  November  i_\  82 
with  a  band  of  soldiers  that  he  had  induced  to 
join  his  standard,  seized  the  principal  govern- 
ment officials  at  Monterey  and  put  them  in 
prison.  At  Solis'  solicitation  Herrera  drew  up 
a  pronunciamento.  It  followed  the  usual  line 
of  such  documents.  It  began  by  deploring  the 
evils  that  had  come  upon  the  territory  through 
Echeandia*s  misgovernment  and  closed  widt 
promises  of  reformation  if  the  revolutionists 
should  obtain  control  of  the  government.  To 
obtain  the  sinews  of  war  the  rebels  seized 
S3.000  of  the  public  funds.  This  was  dis- 
tributed among  the  soldiers  and  proved  a  great 
attraction  to  the  rebel  cause.  Solis  with  twen- 
ty men  went  to  San  Francisco  and  : 
diers  there  joined  his  standard.  Xext  he 
marched  against  Santa  Barbara  with  an  army 
of  one  hundred  and  fifty  men.  Echeandia  on 
hearing  of  the  revolt  had  marched  northward 
with  all  the  soldiers  he  could  enlist.  The  two 
armies  met  at  Santa  Ynez.  Solis  opened  fire  on 
the  governor's  army.  The  fire  was  returned. 
Solis'  men  began  to  break  away  and  soon  the 
army  and  its  valiant  leader  were  in  rapid  flight. 
Pacheco's  cavalry  captured  the  leaders  of  the 
revolt.  Herrara.  Solis  and  thirteen  others  were 
shipped  to  Mexico  under  arrest  to  be  tried  for 
their  crimes.  The  Mexican  authorities,  always 
lenient  to  California  revolutionists,  probably 
from  a  fellow  feeling,  turned  them  all  loose 
and  Herrera  was  sent  back  to  fill  his  former 
office. 

Xear  the  close  of  his  term  Governor 
Echeandia  formulated  a  plan  for  converting  the 
mission  into  pueblos.  To  ascertain  the  fitness 
of  the  neophytes  for  citizenship  he  made  an  in- 
vestigation to  find  out  how  many  could  read  and 
write.  He  found  so  very  few  that  he  ordered 
schools  opened  at  the  missions.  A  pretense  was 
made  of  establishing  schools,  but  very  little  was 
accomplished.  The  padres' were  opposed  to  edu- 


cating the  natives  for  the  same  reason  that  the 
southern  slave-holders  were  opposed  to  educat- 
ing the  negro,  namely,  that  an  ignorant  people 
were  more  easily  kept  in  subjection.  Echeandia's 
plan  of  secularization  was  quite  elaborate  and 
dealt  fairly  with  the  neophytes.  It  received  the 
sanction  of  the  diputacion  when  that  body  met 
in  July,  1S30,  but  before  anything  could  be  done 
towards  enforcing  it  another  governor  was  ap- 
pointed. Echeandia  was  thoroughly  hated  by 
the  mission  friars  and  their  adherents.  Robin- 
son in  his  "Life  in  California"  calls  him  a  man 
of  vice  and  makes  a  number  of  damaging  asser- 
tions about  his  character  and  conduct,  which 
are  not  in  accordance  with  the  facts.  It  was  dur- 
ing Echeandia's  term  as  governor  that  the  motto 
of  Mexico,  Dios  y  Libertad  (God  and  Liberty), 
was  adopted.  It  became  immensely  popular 
and  was  used  on  all  public  documents  and  often 
in  private  correspondence. 

A  romantic  episode  that  has  furnished  a 
theme  for  fiction  writers  occurred  in  the  last 
year  of  Echeandia's  rule.  It  was  the  elopement 
of  Henry  D.  Fitch  with  Dona  Josefa,  daughter 
of  Joaquin  Carrillo  of  San  Diego.  Fitch  was  a 
native  of  Xew  Bedford,  Mass.  He  came  to  Cal- 
ifornia in  1826  as  master  of  the  Maria  Ester. 
He  fell  in  love  with  Dona  Josefa.  There  were 
legal  obstructions  to  their  marriage.  Fitch  was 
a  foreigner  and  a  Protestant.  The  latter  objec- 
tion was  easily  removed  by  Fitch  becoming  a 
Catholic.  The  Dominican  friar  who  was  to  per- 
form the  marriage  service,  fearful  that  he  might 
incur  the  wrath  of  the  authorities,  civil  and  cler- 
ical, refused  to  perform  the  ceremony,  but  sug- 
gested that  there  were  other  countries  where 
5  were  less  strict  and  offered  to  go  beyond 
the  limits  of  California  and  marry  them.  It  is 
said  that  at  this  point  Dona  Josefa  said:  "Why 
don't  you  carry  me  off,  Don  Enrique?''  The 
suggestion  was  quickly  acted  upon.  The  next 
night  the  lady,  mounted  on  a  steed  with  her 
cousin,  Pio  Pico,  as  an  escort,  was  secretly 
taken  to  a  point  on  the  bay  shore  where  a  boat 
was  waiting  for  her.  The  boat  put  off  to  the 
Vulture,  where  Captain  Fitch  received  her  on 
board  and  the  vessel  sailed  for  Valparaiso, 
where  the  couple  were  married.  A  year  later 
Captain   Fitch   returned  to   California   with   his 


HISTORICAL   AXD   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


wile  and  infant  son.  At  Monterey  Fitch  was 
arrested  on  an  order  of  Padre  Sanchez  of  San 
Gabriel  and  put  in  prison.  His  wife  was  also 
placed  under  arrest  at  the  house  of  Captain 
Cooper.  Fitch  was  taken  to  San  Gabriel  for  trial. 
"his  offenses  being  most  heinous."  At  her  in- 
tercession, Governor  Echeandia  released  Mrs. 
Fitch  and  allowed  her  to  go  to  San  Gabriel, 
where  her  husband  was  imprisoned  in  one  of  the 
rooms  of  the  mission.  This  act  of  clemency 
greatly  enraged  the  friar  and  his  fiscal.  Pa- 
lomares,  and  they  seriously  considered  the  ques- 
tion of  arresting  the  governor.  The  trial 
dragged  along  for  nearly  a  month.  Many  wit- 
nesses were  examined  and  many  learned  points 
of  clerical  law  discussed.  Yicar  Sanchez  finally 
gave  his  decision  that  the  marriage  at  Val- 
paraiso, though  not  legitimate,  was  not  null  and 
void,   but  valid.     The   couple  were  condemned 


to   do   penance   by    "presenting   themse!. 
church  with   lighted   candles  in  their  hands  to 
hear  high  mass  for  three  feast  days  an<; 
together  for  thirty  days  one-third  of  the  rosary 
of  the  holy  virgin."*     In  addition  to  these  joint 
penances  the  vicar  inflicted  an  additional  pen- 
alty on  Fitch  in  these  words:    "Yet  considering 
the    great    scandal    which    Don    Enrique    has 
caused  in  this  province  I  condemn  him  to  give 
as  penance  and  reparation  a  bell  of  at  leasl 
pounds  in   weight   for  the   church   at  Los  An- 
geles, which  barely  has  a  borrowed  one.""    Fitch 
and  his  wife  no  doubt  performed  the  joint  pen- 
ance imposed  upon  them,  but  the  church  . 
Angeles  had  to  get  along  with  its  borrowed  bell. 
Don  Enrique  never  gave  it  one  of  fifty  pounds 
or  anv  other  weight. 


►Bancroft's    History   of  California,   Vol.    III-144. 


CHAPTER   XI, 


REVOLUTIONS— THE    HIJAR    COLONISTS. 


JiK  ANUEL  VICTORIA  was  appointed 
/'\  governor  in  March.  1S30,  but  did  not 
reach  California  until  the  last  month 
of  the  year.  Victoria  very  soon  became  un- 
popular. He  undertook  to  overturn  the  civil 
authority  and  substitute  military  rule.  He 
recommended  the  abolition  of  the  ayunta- 
mientos  and  refused  to  call  together  the  ter- 
ritorial diputacion.  He  exiled  Don  Abel 
Stearns  and  Jose  Antonio  Carrillo:  and  at  dif- 
ferent times,  on  trumped-up  charges,  had  half 
a  hundred  of  the  leading  citizens  of  Los  An- 
geles incarcerated  in  the  pueblo  jail.  Alcalde 
Vicente  Sanchez  was  the  petty  despot  of  the 
pueblo,  who  carried  out  the  tyrannical 
of  his  master.  Victoria.  Among  others  who 
were  imprisoned  in  the  cuartel  was  Jose  Maria 
Avila.  Avila  was  proud,  haughty  and  over- 
bearing. He  had  incurred  the  hatred  of  both 
Victoria  and  Sanchez.  Sanchez,  under  orders 
from  Victoria,  placed  Avila  in  prison,  and  to 
humiliate  him  put  him  in  irons.  Avila  brooded 
over  the  indignities  inflicted  upon  him  and 
vowed  to  be  revenged. 


\  ictoria's  persecutions  became  so  unbearable 
that  Pio  Pico,  Juan  Bandini  and  Jose  Antonio 
Carrillo  raised  the  standard  of  revolt  at  San 
Diego  and  issued  a  pronunciamento,  in  which 
- .-:  forth  the  reasons  why  they  felt  them- 
selves obliged  to  rise  against  the  tyrant,  Vic- 
toria. Pablo  de  Portilla,  comandante  of  the 
presidio  of  San  Diego,  and  his  officers,  with  a 
force  of  fifty  soldiers,  joined  the  revolutionists 
and  marched  to  Los  Angeles.  Sanchez's  pris- 
oners were  released  and  he  was  chained  up  in 
the  pueblo  jail.     Here  Per:  as  re- 

cruited to  two  hundred  men.  Avila  and  a  num- 
ber of  the  other  released  prisoners  joined  the 
revolutionists,  and  all  marched  forth  to  meet 
Victoria,  who  was  moving  southward  with  an 
armed  force  t  ..    The 

two  forces  met  on  the  plains  of  Cahuenga.  west 
of  the  pueblo,  at  a  place  known  as  the  Lomitas 
de  la  Canada  de  Breita.  The  sight  of  his  per- 
furiated  Avila  that  alone  he  rushed 
upon  him  to  run  him  through  wit 
Captain  Pache  ff,  parried  the 

lance  thrust.  m  dead  with  one  of 


1)4 


HISTORICAL   AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


his  pistols  and  again  attacked  the  governor  and 
succeeded  in  wounding  him,  when  he  himself 
received  a  pistol  ball  that  unhorsed  him.  After 
a  desperate  struggle  (in  which  he  seized  Vic- 
toria by  the  foot  and  dragged  him  from  his 
horse)  he  was  shot  by  one  of  Victoria's  soldier-. 
Tortilla's  arm}-  fell  back  in  a  panic  to  Los  An- 
geles and  Victoria's  men  carried  the  wounded 
governor  to  the  Mission  San  Gabriel,  where 
his  wounds  were  dressed  by  Joseph  Chapman, 
who,  to  his  many  other  accomplishments,  added 
that  of  amateur  surgeon.  Some  citizens  who 
had  taken  no  part  in  the  fight  brought  the 
lx idies  i if  Avila  and  Pacheco  to  the  town. 
"They  were  taken  to  the  same  house,  the  same 
hands  rendered  them  the  last  sad  rites,  and 
they  were  laid  side  by  side.  'Side  by  side  knelt 
their  widows  and  mingled  their  tears,  while 
sympathizing  countrymen  chanted  the  solemn 
prayers  of  the  church  for  the  repose  of  the 
souls  of  these  untimely  dead.  Side  by  side  be- 
neath the  orange  and  the  olive  in  the  little 
churchyard  upon  the  plaza  sleep  the  slayer  and 
the  slain."* 

Next  day,  Victoria,  supposing  himself  mor- 
tally wounded  abdicated  and  turned  over  the 
governorship  of  the  territory  to  Echeandia.  He 
resigned  the  office  December  9,  1831,  having 
been  governor  a  little  over  ten  months.  When 
Victoria  was  able  to  travel  he  was  sent  to  San 
Diego,  from  where  he  was  deported  to  Mexico, 
San  Diego  borrowing  $125  from  the  ayunta- 
miento  of  Los  Angeles  to  pay  the  expense  of 
shipping  him  out  of  the  country.  Several  years 
afterwards  the  money  had  not  been  repaid,  and 
the  town  council  began  proceedings  to  recover 
it,  but  there  is  no  record  in  the  archives  to  show 
that  it  was  ever  paid.  And  thus  it  was  that 
California  got  rid  of  a  bad  governor  and  Los 
Angeles  incurred  a  bad  debt. 

Januar)  10,  [832,  the  territorial  legislature 
nut  at  Los  Angeles  to  choose  a  "gefe  politico," 
or  governor,  for  the  territory.  Echeandia  was 
invited  to  preside  but  replied  from  San  Juan 
Capistrano  that  he  was  busy  getting  Victoria 
out  of  the  country.  The  diputacion,  after  wait- 
ing  some   time    and     receiving    no   satisfaction 

♦Stephen  C.  Foster, 


from  Echeandia  whether  he  wanted  the  office 
or  not,  declared  l'io  l'ico,  by  virtue  of  his  office 
of  senior  vocal,  "gefe  politico." 

Xo  sooner  had  Pico  been  sworn  into  office 
than  Echeandia  discovered  that  he  wanted  the 
office  and  wanted  it  badly.  He  protested  against 
the  action  of  the  diputacion  and  intrigued 
against  Pico.  Another  revolution  was  threat- 
ened. Los  Angeles  favored  Echeandia,  al- 
though all  the  other  towns  in  the  territory  had 
accepted  Pico.  (Pico  at  that  time  was  a  resi- 
dent of  San  Diego.)  A  mass  meeting  was  called 
on  February  12.  1832,  at  Los  Angeles,  to  dis- 
cuss the  question  whether  it  should  be  l'ico  or 
Echeandia.  I  give  the  report  of  the  meeting  in 
the  quaint  language  of  the  pueblo  archives: 

"The  town,  acting  in  accord  with  the  Most 
Illustrious  Ayuntamiento,  answered  in  a  loud 
voice,  saying  they  would  not  admit  Citizen  Pio 
Pico  as  'gefe  politico,"  but  desired  that  Lieut. - 
Col.  Citizen  Jose  Maria  Echeandia  be  retained 
in  office  until  the  supreme  government  appoint. 
Then  the  president  of  the  meeting,  seeing  the 
determination  of  the  people,  asked  the  motive  or 
rea  on  of  refusing  Citizen  Pio  Pico,  who  was 
of  unblemished  character.  To  this  the  people 
responded  that  while  it  was  true  that  Citizen 
Pio  Pico  was  to  some  extent  qualified,  yet  they 
preferred  Lieut. -Col.  Citizen  Jose  M.  Echean- 
dia. The  president  of  the  meeting  then  asked 
the  people  whether  they  had  been  bribed,  or 
was  it  merely  insubordination  that  they  op- 
posed the  resolution  of  the  Most  Excellent  Di- 
putacion? Whereupon  the  people  answered 
that  they  had  not  been  bribed,  nor  were  they 
insubordinate,  but  that  they  opposed  the  pro- 
posed 'gefe  politico'  because  he  had  not  been 
named  by  the  supreme  government." 

At  a  public  meeting  February  19  the  matter 
was  again  brought  up.  Again  the  people  cried 
out  "they  would  not  recognize  or  obey  any 
other  gefe  politico  than  Echeandia."  The  Most 
Illustrious  Ayuntamiento  opposed  Pio  Pico  for 
two  reasons:  "First,  because  his  name  appeared 
first  on  the  plan  to  oust  Gefe  Politico  Citizen 
Manuel  Victoria,"  and  "Second,  because  he. 
Pico,  had  not  sufficient  capacity  to  fulfil  the 
duties  of  the  office."  Then  Jose  Perez  and  Jose 
Antonio    Carrillo   withdrew    from    the    meeting, 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


saying  they  would  not  recognize  Echeandia  as 
"gefe  politico."  Pico,  after  holding  the  office 
for  twenty  days,  resigned  for  the  sake  of  peace. 
And  this  was  the  length  of  Pico's  first  term  as 
governor. 

Echeandia,  by  obstinacy  and  intrigue,  had  ob- 
tained the  coveted  office,  "gefe  politico,"  but  he 
did  not  long  enjoy  it  in  peace.  News  came 
from  Monterey  that  Capt.  Agustiri  V.  Zamo- 
rano had  declared  himself  governor  and  was 
gathering  a  force  to  invade  the  south  and  en- 
force his  authority.  Echeandia  began  at  once 
marshaling  his  forces  to  oppose  him.  Ybarra, 
Zamarano's  military  chief,  with  a  force  of  one 
hundred  men,  by  a  forced  march,  reached  Paso 
de  Bartolo,  on  the  San  Gabriel  river,  where, 
fifteen  years  later,  Stockton  fought  the  Mexican 
troops  under  Flores.  Here  Ybarra  found  Cap- 
tain ISorroso  posted  with  a  piece  of  artillery  and 
fourteen  men.  He  did  not  dare  to  attack  him. 
Echeandia  and  Borroso  gathered  a  force  of  a 
thousand  neophytes  at  Paso  de  Bartolo,  where 
they  drilled  them  in  military  evolutions.  Ybar- 
ra's  troops  had  fallen  back  to  Santa  Barbara, 
where  he  was  joined  by  Zamorano  with  rein- 
forcements. Ybarra's  force  was  largely  made  up 
of  ex-convicts  and  other  undesirable  characters, 
who  took  what  they  needed,  asking  no  questions 
of  the  owners.  The  Angelenos,  fearing  those 
marauders,  gave  their  adhesion  to  Zamorano's 
plan  and  recognized  him  as  military  chief  of  the 
territory.  Captain  Borroso,  Echeandia's  faith- 
ful adherent,  disgusted  with  the  fickleness  of 
the  Angelenos,  at  the  head  of  a  thousand 
mounted  Indians,  threatened  to  invade  the  re- 
calcitrant pueblo,  but  at  the  intercession  of  the 
frightened  inhabitants  this  modern  Coriolanus 
turned  aside  and  regaled  his  neophyte  retainers 
on  the  fat  bullocks  of  the  Mission  San  Gabriel, 
much  to  the  disgust  of  the  padres.  The  neo- 
phyte warriors  were  disbanded  and  sent  to  their 
respective  missions. 

A  peace  was  patched  up  betwen  Zamorano 
and  Echeandia.  Alta  California  was  divided 
into  two  territories.  Echeandia  was  given  juris- 
diction over  all  south  of  San  Gabriel  and  Zamo- 
rano all  north  of  San  Fernando.  This  division 
apparently  left  a  neutral  district,  or  "no  man's 
land,"  between.     Whether  Los  Angeles  was  in 


this  neutral  territory  the  records  do  not  show. 
If  it  was,  it  is  probable  that  neither  of  the  gov- 
ernors wanted  the  job  of  governing  the  rebel- 
lious pueblo. 

In  January,  1833,  Governor  Figueroa  arrived 
in  California.  Echeandia  and  Zamorano  each 
surrendered  his  hah  of  the  divided  territory  to 
the  newly  appointed  governor,  and  California 
was  united  and  at  peace.  Figueroa  proved  to 
be  the  right  man  for  the  times.  He  conciliated 
the  factions  and  brought  order  out  of  chaos. 
The  two  most  important  events  in  Figueroa's 
term  of  office  were  the  arrival  of  the  Hijar  Col- 
ony in  California  and  the  secularization  of  the 
missions.  These  events  were  most  potent  fac- 
tors in  the  evolution  of  the  territory. 

In  1833  the  first  California  colonization 
scheme  was  inaugurated  in  Mexico.  At  the 
head  of  this  was  Jose  Maria  Hijar,  a  Mexican 
gentleman  of  wealth  and  influence.  He  was 
assisted  in  its  promulgation  by  Jose  M.  Padres, 
an  adventurer,  who  had  been  banished  from 
California  by  Governor  Victoria.  Padres,  like 
some  of  our  modern  real  estate  boomers,  pic- 
tured the  country  as  an  earthly  paradise — an 
improved  and  enlarged  Garden  of  Eden. 
Among  other  inducements  held  out  to  the  colo- 
nists, it  is  said,  was  the  promise  of  a  division 
among  them  of  the  mission  property  and  a  dis- 
tribution of  the  neophytes  for  servants. 

Headquarters  were  established  at  the  city 
of  Mexico  and  two  hundred  and  fifty  colonists 
enlisted.  Each  family  received  a  bonus  of 
$10,  and  all  were  to  receive  free  transporta- 
tion to  California  and  rations  while  on  the  jour- 
ney. Each  head  of  a  family  was  promised  a 
farm  from  the  public  domain,  live  stock  and 
farming  implements;  these  advances  to  be  paid 
for  on  the  installment  plan.  The  orignal  plan  was 
to  found  a  colon)  somewhere  north  of  San 
Francisco  bay,  but  this  was  not  carried  out. 
Two  vessels  were  dispatched  with  the  colonists 
— the  Morelos  and  the  Natalia.  The  latter  was 
compelled  to  put  into  San  Diego  on  account  of 
sickness  on  board.  She  reached  that  port  Sep- 
tember 1,  1834.  A  part  of  the  colonists  on 
hoard  her  were  senl  to  San  1'edro  and  from 
there  they  were  taken  to  Los  Vngeles  and  San 
Gabriel.     The  Morelos  readied   Monterey  Sep- 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


tember  25.  Hijar  had  been  appointed  governor 
of  California  by  President  Farias,  but  after  the 
sailing  of  the  expedition,  Santa  Ana,  who  had 
succeeded  Farias,  dispatched  a  courier  over- 
land with  a  countermanding  order.  By  one  of 
the  famous  rides  of  history,  Amador,  the  courier, 
made  the  journey  from  the  city  of  [Mexico  to 
Monterey  in  forty  days  and  delivered  his  mes- 
sage to  Governor  Figueroa.  When  Hijar  ar- 
rived he  found  to  his  dismay  that  he  was  only 
a  private  citizen  of  the  territory  instead  of  its 
governor.  The  colonization  scheme  was  aban- 
doned and  the  immigrants  distributed  them- 
selves throughout  the  territory.  Generally  they 
were  a  good  class  of  citizens,  and  many  of  them 
became  prominent  in  California  affairs. 

That  storm  center  of  political  disturbances, 
Los  Angeles,  produced  but  one  small  revolution 
during  Figueroa's  term  as  governor.  A  party 
of  fifty  or  sixty  Sonorans,  some  of  whom  were 
Hijar  colonists  who  were  living  either  in  the 
town  or  its  immediate  neighborhood,  assembled 
at  Los  Nietos  on  the  night  of  March  7,  1835. 
They  formulated  a  pronunciamiento  against 
Don  Jose  Figueroa,  in  which  they  first  vigor- 
ously arraigned  him  for  sins  of  omission  and 
commission  and  then  laid  down  their  plan  of 
government  of  the  territory.  Armed  with  this 
formidable  document  and  a  few  muskets  and 
lances,  these  patriots,  headed  by  Juan  Gallado, 
a  cobbler,  and  Felipe  Castillo,  a  cigarmaker.  in 
the  gray  light  of  the  morning,  rode  into  the 
pueblo,  took  possession  of  the  town  hall  and 
the  big  cannon  and   the  ammunition   that   had 


been  stored  there  when  the  Indians  of  San  Luis 
Rey  had  threatened  hostilities.  The  slumbering 
inhabitants  were  aroused  from  their  dreams  of 
peace  by  the  drum  beat  of  war.  The  terrified 
citizens  rallied  to  the  juzgado,  the  ayuntamiento 
met,  the  cobbler  statesman,  Gallado,  presented 
his  plan;  it  was  discussed  and  rejected.  The 
revolutionists,  after  holding  possession  of  the 
pueblo  throughout  the  day,  tired,  hungry  and 
disappointed  in  not  receiving  their  pay  for  sav- 
ing the  country,  surrendered  to  the  legal  author- 
ities the  real  leaders  of  the  revolution  and 
disbanded.  The  leaders  proved  to  be  Torres, 
a  clerk,  and  Apalategui,  a  doctor,  both  supposed 
to  be  emissaries  of  Hijar.  They  were  imprisoned 
at  San  Gabriel.  When  news  of  the  revolt 
reached  Figueroa  he  had  Hijar  and  Padres  ar- 
rested for  complicity  in  the  outbreak.  Hijar, 
with  half  a  dozen  of  his  adherents,  was  shipped 
back  to  Mexico.  And  thus  the  man  who  the 
year  before  had  landed  in  California  with  a 
commission  as  governor  and  authority  to  take 
possession  of  all  the  property  belonging  to  the 
missions  returned  to  his  native  land  an  exile. 
His  grand  colonization  scheme  and  his  "Com- 
pania  Cosmopolitana"  that  was  to  revolutionize 
California  commerce  were  both  disastrous  fail- 
ures. 

Governor  Jose  Figueroa  died  at  Monterey 
on  the  29th  of  September,  1835.  He  is  generally 
regarded  as  the  best  of  the  Mexican  governors 
sent  to  California.  He  was  of  Aztec  extraction 
and  took  a  great  deal  of  pride  in  his  Indian 
blood. 


CHAPTER   XII. 


THE    DECLINE    AND    FALL    OF    THE    MISSIONS. 


THE  Franciscan  Missions  of  Aha  Califor- 
nia have  of  late  been  a  prolific  theme 
for  a  certain  class  of  writers  and  espe- 
cially have  they  dwelt  upon  the  secularization 
of  these  establishments.  Their  productions 
have  added  little  or  nothing  to  our  previous 
knowledge  of  these  institutions.  Carried  away 
li\  sentiment  these  writers  draw  pictures  of  mis- 
sion life  that  are  unreal,  that  are  purely  imag- 


inary, and  aroused  to  indignation  at  the  injus- 
tice they  fancy  was  done  to  their  ideal  institu- 
tions they  deal  out  denunciations  against  the 
authorities  that  brought  about  secularization  as 
unjust  as  they  arc  undeserved.  Such  expres- 
sions as  "the  robber  hand  of  secularization,"  and 
"the  brutal  and  thievish  disestablishment  of  the 
missions,"  emanate  from  writers  who  seem  to 
be  ignorant  of  the  purpose  for  which  the  mis- 


HISTORICAL   .VXD    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


sions  were  founded,  and  who  ignore,  or  who 
do  not  know,  the  causes  which  brought  about 
their  secularization. 

It  is  an  historical  fact  known  to  all  acquainted 
with  California  history  that  these  establishments 
were  not  intended  by  the  Crown  of  Spain  to 
become  permanent  institutions.  The  purpose 
for  which  the  Spanish  government  fostered  and 
protected  them  was  to  Christianize  the  Indians 
and  make  of  them  self-supporting  citizens.  Very 
early  in  its  history  Governor  Borica,  Fages  and 
other  intelligent  Spanish  officers  in  California 
discovered  the  weakness  of  the  mission  system. 
Governor  Borica,  writing  in  1796,  said:  "Ac- 
cording to  the  laws  the  natives  are  to  be  free 
from  tutelage  at  the  end  of  ten  years,  the  mis- 
sions then  becoming  doctrinairs,  but  those  of 
New  California,  at  the  rate  they  are  advancing, 
will  not  reach  the  goal  in  ten  centuries;  the  rea- 
son God  knows,  and  men,  too,  know  something 
about  it." 

The  tenure  by  which  the  mission  friars  held 
their  lands  is  admirably  set  forth  in  William 
Carey  Jones'  "Report  on  Land  Titles  in  Cali- 
fornia," made  in  1850.  He  says,  "It  had  been 
supposed  that  the  lands  they  (the  missions)  oc- 
cupied were  grants  held  as  the  property  of  the 
church  or  of  the  misson  establishments  as  cor- 
porations. Such,  however,  was  not  the  case; 
all  the  missions  in  VJpper  California  were  estab- 
lished under  the  direction  and  mainly  at  the 
expense  of  the  government,  and  the  missionaries 
there  had  never  any  other  right  than  to  the 
occupation  and  use  of  the  lands  for  the  purpose 
of  the  missions  and  at  the  pleasure  of  the  gov- 
ernment. This  is  shown  by  the  history  and 
principles  of  their  foundation,  by  the  laws  in 
relation  to  them,  by  the  constant  practice  of 
the  government  toward  them  and,  in  fact,  by  the 
rules  of  the  Franciscan  order,  which  forbid  its 
members  to  possess  property." 

With  the  downfall  of  Spanish  domination  in 
Mexico  came  the  beginning  of  the  end  of  mis- 
sionary rule  in  California.  The  majority  of  the 
mission  padres  were  Spanish  born.  In  the  war 
of  Mexican  independence  their  sympathies  were 
with  their  mother  country.  Spain.  After  Mex- 
ico attained  her  independence,  some  of  them 
refused  to  acknowledge  allegiance  to  the  repub 
7 


lie.  The  Mexican  authorities  feared  and  dis- 
trusted them.  In  this,  in  part,  they  found  a  pre- 
text for  the  disestablishment  of  the  missions  and 
the  confiscation  of  the  mission  estates.  There 
was  another  cause  or  reason  for  secularization 
more  potent  than  the  loyalty  of  the  padres  to 
Spain.  Few  forms  of  land  monopoly  have  ever 
exceeded  that  in  vogue  under  the  mission  system 
of  California.  From  San  Diego  to  San  Fran- 
cisco hay  the  twenty  missions  established  under 
Spanish  rule  monopolized  the  greater  pan  of  the 
fertile  land  between  the  coast  range  and  the  sea. 
The  limits  of  one  mission  were  said  to  cover 
the  intervening  space  to  the  limits  of  the  next. 
There  was  but  little  left  for  other  settlers.  A 
settler  could  not  obtain  a  grant  of  land  if  the 
padres  of  the  nearest  mission  objected. 

The  twenty-four  ranchos  owned  by  the  Mis- 
sion San  Gabriel  contained  about  a  million  and 
a  half  acres  and  extended  from  the  sea  to  the 
San  Bernardino  mountains.  The  greatest 
neophyte  population  of  San  Gabriel  was  in  1S17. 
when  it  reached  1,701.  Its  yearly  average  for 
the  first  three  decades  of  the  present  century 
did  not  exceed  1,500.  It  took  a  thousand  acres 
of  fertile  land  under  the  mission  system  to  .up- 
port  an  Indian,  even  the  smallest  papoose  of  the 
mission  flock.  It  is  not  strange  that  the  people 
clamored  for  a  subdivision  of  the  mission  estates; 
and  secularization  became  a  public  necessity. 
The  most  enthusiastic  admirer  of  the  missions 
to-day,  had  he  lived  in  California  scveim 
ago,  would  no  doubt  have  hern  among  the  loud- 
est in  his  wail  againsl  the  mission  system. 

The  abuse  heaped  upon  the  Mexican  authori- 
ties for  their  secularization  of  these  institutions 
is  as  unjust  as  it  is  unmerited.  The  act  of  the 
Mexican  Congress  of  August  17.  1833,  was 
not  the  initiative  movement  towards  their  dis- 
establishment. Indeed  in  their  Foundation  their 
secularization,  their  subdivision  into  pu 
was  provided  for  and  the  local  authorities  were 
never  without  lawful  authority  over  them.  In 
the  very  beginning  'if  missionary  work  in  Aha 
California  the  process  of  secularizing  the  mis- 
sion establishments  was  mapped  out  in  the  fol- 
lowing "Instructions  given  :  Bucarili 
August  17.  177. v  to  the  comandante  of  the  new 
establishments   of    Sa                      nd    Monterey. 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


Article  15,  when  it  shall  happen  that  a  mission 
is  to  be  formed  into  a  pueblo  or  village  the 
comandante  will  proceed  to  reduce  it  to  the  civil 
and  economical  government,  which,  according 
to  the  laws,  is  observed  by  other  villages  of  this 
kingdom;  their  giving  it  a  name  and  declaring 
for  its  patron  the  saint  under  whose  memory 
and  protection  the  mission  was  founded." 

The  purpose  for  which  the  mission  was 
founded  was  to  aid  in  the  settlement  of  the 
country,  and  to  convert  the  natives  to  Christian- 
ity. 'These  objects  accomplished  the  mission- 
ary's labor  was  considered  fulfilled  and  the  es- 
tablishment  subject  to  dissolution.  This  view 
of  their  purpose  and  destiny  fully  appears  in 
the  tenor  of  the  decree  of  the  Spanish  Cortes 
of  September  13,  1813.  It  was  passed  in  conse- 
quence of  a  complaint  by  the  Bishop  of  Guiana 
of  the  evils  that  affected  that  province  on  ac- 
count of  the  Indian  settlements  in  charge  of 
missions  not  being  delivered  to  the  ecclesiastical 
ordinary,  although  thirty,  forty  and  fifty  years 
had  passed  since  the  reduction  and  conversion 
of  the  Indians." 

The  Cortes  decreed  1st,  that  all  the  new 
reduciones  y  doctrinairs  (settlements  of  newly 
converted  Indians)  not  yet  formed  into  parishes 
of  the  province  beyond  the  sea  which  were  in 
charge  of  missionary  monks  and  had  been  ten 
years  subjected  should  be  delivered  immediately 
to  the  respective  ecclesiastical  ordinaries  (bish- 
ops) without  resort  to  any  excuse  or  pretext 
conformably  to  the  laws  and  cedulas  in  that 
respect.  Section  2nd,  provided  that  the  secular 
clergy  should  attend  to  the  spiritual  wants  of 
these  curacies.  Section  3rd.  the  missionary 
monks  relieved  from  the  converted  settlements 
shall  proceed  to  the  conversion  of  other 
heathen." 

The  decree  of  the  Mexican  Congress,  passed 
November  20,  [833,  for  the  secularization  of  the 
missions  of  Upper  and  Lower  California,  was 
very  similar  in  its  provisions  to  the  decree  of  the 
Spanish  (  ortes  of  September,  1813.  Th<  \l<-. 
ican  government  simply  followed  the  example 
of  Spain  and  in  the  conversion  of  the  missions 
into  pueblos  was  attempting  to  enforce  a  prin- 

*William  Carey  Join 


ciple  inherent  in  the  foundation  of  the  mission- 
ary establishments.  I  hat  secularization  resulted 
disastrously  to  the  Indians  was  not  the  fault 
of  the  Mexican  government  so  much  as  it  was 
the  defect  in  the  industrial  and  intellectual 
training  of  the  neophytes.  Except  in  the  case 
of  those  who  were  trained  for  choir  services  in 
the  churches  there  was  no  attempt  made  to 
teach  the  Indians  to  read  or  write.  The  padres 
generally  entertained  a  poor  opinion  of  the 
neophytes'  intellectual  ability.  The  reglamento 
governing  the  secularization  of  the  missions, 
published  by  Governor  Echeandia  in  1830.  but 
not  enforced,  and  that  formulated  by  the  diputa- 
cion  under  Governor  Figueroa  in  1834, approved 
by  the  Mexican  Congress  and  finally  enforced 
in  1834-5-6,  were  humane  measures.  These  reg- 
ulations provided  for  the  colonization  of  the 
neophytes  into  pueblos  or  villages.  A  portion  of 
the  personal  property  and  a  part  of  the  lands 
held  by  the  missions  were  to  be  distributed 
among  the  Indians  as  follows: 

"Article  5 — To  each  head  of  a  family  and  all 
who  are  more  than  twenty  years  old,  although 
without  families,  wdl  be  given  from  the  lands 
of  the  mission,  whether  temporal  (lands  depend- 
ent on  the  seasons)  or  watered,  a  lot  of  ground 
not  to  contain  more  than  four  hundred  varas 
(yards)  in  length,  and  as  many  in  breadth  not 
less  than  one  hundred.  Sufficient  land  for  water- 
ing the  cattle  will  be  given  in  common.  The 
outlets  or  roads  shall  be  marked  out  by  each  vil- 
lage, and  at  the  proper  time  the  corporation 
lands  shall  be  designated."  This  colonization 
of  the  neophytes  into  pueblos  would  have 
thrown  large  bodies  of  the  land  held  by  the  mis- 
sions open  to  .settlement  by  white  settlers.  The 
personal  property  of  missionary  establishments 
was  to  have  been  divided  among  their  neophyte 
retainers  thus:  "Article  6.  Among  the  said  in- 
dividuals will  he  distributed,  ratably  and  justly, 
according  to  the  discretion  of  the  political  chief, 
the  half  of  the  movable  property,  taking  as  a 
basis  the  last  inventory  which  the  missionaries 
have  presented  of  all  descriptions  of  cattle.  Arti- 
cle 7.  One-half  or  less  of  the  implements  and 
seeds  indispensable  for  agriculture  shall  be  al- 
lotted to  them." 

The   political   government  of  the   Indian  pu- 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


eblos  was  to  be  organized  in  accordance  with 
existing  laws  of  the  territory  governing  other 
towns.  The  neophyte  could  not  sell,  mortgage 
or  dispose  of  the  land  granted  him;  nor  could 
he  sell  his  cattle.  The  regulations  provided  that 
"Religious  missionaries  shall  be  relieved  from 
the  administration  of  temporalities  and  shall 
only  exercise  the  duties  of  their  ministry  so  far 
as  they  relate  to  spiritual  matters."  The  nunner- 
ies or  the  houses  where  the  Indian  girls  were 
kept  under  the  charge  of  a  duena  until  they 
were  of  marriageable  age  were  to  be  abolished 
and  the  children  restored  to  their  parents.  Rule 
7  provided  that  "What  is  called  the  'priest- 
hood' shall  immediately  cease,  female  children 
whom  they  have  in  charge  being  handed  over 
to  their  fathers,  explaining  to  them  the  care 
they  should  take  of  them,  and  pointing  out  their 
obligations  as  parents.  The  same  shall  be  done 
with  the  male  children." 

Commissioners  were  to  be  appointed  to  take 
charge  of  the  mission  property  and  superintend 
its  subdivision  among  the  neophytes.  The  con- 
version of  ten  of  the  missionary  establishments 
into  pueblos  was  to  begin  in  August,  1835.  That 
of  the  others  was  to  follow  as  soon  as  possible. 
San  Gabriel,  San  Fernando  and  San  Juan  Capis- 
trano  were  among  the  ten  that  were  to  be 
secularized  first.  For  years  secularization  had 
threatened  the  missions,  but  hitherto  something 
had  occurred  at  the  critical  time  to  avert  it. 
The  missionaries  had  used  their  influence 
against  it,  had  urged  that  the  neophytes  were 
unfitted  for  self-support,  had  argued  that  the 
emancipation  of  the  natives  from  mission  rule 
would  result  in  disaster  to  them.  Through  all 
the  agitation  of  the  question  in  previous  years 
the  padres  had  labored  on  in  the  preservation 
and  upbuilding  of  their  establishments;  but  with 
the  issuing  of  the  secularization  decree  by  the 
Mexican  Congress,  August  17,  1833.  the  or- 
ganization of  the  Hijar  Colony  in  Mexico  and 
the  instructions  of  acting  president  Farias  to 
Hijar  to  occupy  all  the  property  of  the  missions 
and  subdivide  it  among  the  colonists  on  their 
arrival  in  California,  convinced  the  missionaries 
that  the  blow  could  no  longer  be  averted.  The 
revocation  of  Hijar's  appointment  as  governor 
and    the    controversv    which    followed    between 


him  and  Governor  Figueroa  and  the  diputacion 
for  a  time  delayed  the  enforcement  of  the  de- 
cree. 

In  the  meantime,  with  the  energy  born  of  de- 
spair, eager  at  any  cost  to  outwit  those  who 
sought  to  profit  by  their  ruin,  the  mission  fath- 
ers hastened  to  destroy  that  which  through 
more  than  half  a  century  thousands  of  human 
beings  had  spent  their  lives  to  accumulate.  The 
wealth  of  the  missions  lay  in  their  herds  of  cat- 
tle. The  only  marketable  products  of  thes 
the  hides  and  tallow.  Heretofore  a  certain  num- 
ber of  cattle  had  been  slaughtered  each  week 
to  feed  the  neophytes  and  sometimes  when  the 
ranges  were  in  danger  of  becoming  over- 
stocked cattle  were  killed  for  their  hides  and 
tallow,  and  the  meat  left  to  the  coyotes  and  the 
carrion  crows.  The  mission  fathers  knew  that 
if  they  allowed  the  possession  of  their  herds  to 
pass  to  other  hands  neither  they  nor  the 
neophytes  would  obtain  any  reward  for  years  of 
labor.  The  blow  was  liable  to  fall  at  any  time. 
Haste  was  required.  The  mission  butchers  could 
11.it  .slaughter  the  animals  fast  enough.  Con- 
tracts were  made  with  the  rancheros  to  kill 
on  shares.  The  work  of  destruction  began  at 
the  missions.  The  country  became  a  mighty 
shambles.  The  matansas  were  no  longer  used. 
An  animal  was  lassoed  on  the  plain,  thrown,  its 
throat  cut  and  while  yet  writhing  in  death  agony, 
its  hide  was  stripped  and  pegged  upon  the 
ground  to  dry.  There  were  no  vessels  to  con- 
tain the  tallow  and  this  was  run  into  pits  in  the 
ground  to  be  taken  out  when  there  was  more 
time  to  spare  and  less  cattle  to  be  killed.  The 
work  of  destruction  went  on  as  long  as  there 
were  cattle  to  kill.  So  great  was  the  stench 
from  rotting  carcasses  of  the  cattle  on  the  plains 
that  a  pestilence  was  threatened.  The  ayunta- 
miento  of  Los  Angeles,  November  15.  1S33. 
passed  an  ordinance  compelling  all  pi 
slaughtering  cattle  for  tin-  hides  and  tallow-  to 
cremate  the  carcassi 

laid  the  foundations  of  their  future  wealth  by  ap- 
propriating herds  of  young  cattle  from  the  mis- 
sion ranges. 

Hugo  Reid,  in  the  letters  previously  referred 
to  in  this  volume,  says  of  this  period  at  San 
Gabriel. "These  facts(the  decree  of  secularization 


LOO 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


and  the  distribution  of  the  mission  property) 
being  known  to  Padre  Tomas  (Estenaga),  he, 
in  all  probability,  by  order  of  his  superior,  com- 
menced a  work  of  destruction.  The  back  build- 
ings were  unroofed  and  the  timber  converted 
into  fire  wood.  Cattle  were  killed  on  the  halves 
by  people  who  took  a  lion's  share.  Utensils 
were  disposed  of  and  goods  and  other  articles 
distributed  in  profusion  among  the  neophytes. 
The  vineyards  were  ordered  to  be  cut  down, 
which,  however,  the  Indians  refused  to  do." 
After  the  mission  was  placed  in  charge  of  an 
administrator,  Padre  Tomas  remained  as  min- 
ister of  the  church  at  a  stipend  of  $1,500  per 
annum,  derived  from  the  pious  fund. 

Hugo  Reid  says  of  him,  "As  a  wrong  im- 
pression of  his  character  may  be  produced  from 
the  preceding  remarks,  in  justice  to  his  memory, 
be  it  stated  that  he  was  a  truly  good  man,  a  sin- 
cere Christian  and  a  despiser  of  hypocrisy.  He 
had  a  kind,  unsophisticated  heart,  so  that  he  be- 
lieved every  word  told  him.  There  has  never 
been  a  purer  priest  in  California.  Reduced  in 
circumstances,  annoyed  on  many  occasions  by 
the  petulancy  of  administrators,  he  fulfilled  his 
duties  according  to  his  conscience,  with  be- 
nevolence and  good  humor.  The  nuns,  who, 
when  the  secular  movement  came  into  opera- 
tion, had  been  set  free,  were  again  gathered  to- 
gether under  his  supervision  and  maintained  at 
his  expense,  as  were  also  a  number  of  old  men 
and  women." 

The  experiment  of  colonizing  the  Indians  in 
pueblos  was  a  failure  and  they  were  gathered 
back  into  the  mission,  or  as  many  of  them  as 
could  be  got  back,  and  placed  in  charge  of  ad- 
ministrators. "The  Indians,"  says  Reid,  "were 
made  happy  at  this  time  in  being  permitted  to 
enjoy  once  more  the  luxury  of  a  tule  dwelling, 
from  which  the  greater  part  had  been  debarred 
for  so  long:  they  could  now  breathe  freely 
again."  (The  close  adobe  buildings  in  which 
they  had  been  housed  in  mission  days  were  no 
doubt  one  of  the  causes  of  the  great  mortality 
among  them.) 

"Administrator  followed  administrator  until 
the     mission     could     support     no     more,     win  11 

the  system   was   broken   up." The 

Indians  during  this  period  were  continually  run- 


ning off.  Scantily  clothed  and  still  more  scant- 
ily supplied  with  food,  it  was  not  to  be  wondered 
at.  Nearly  all  the  Gabrielinos  went  north,  while 
those  of  San  Diego,  San  Luis  and  San  Juan 
overrun  this  country,  filling  the  Angeles  and 
surrounding  ranchos  with  more  servants  than 
were  required.  Labor,  in  consequence,  was 
very  cheap.  The  different  missions,  however, 
had  alcaldes  continually  on  the  move,  hunting 
them  up  and  carrying  them  back,  but  to  no  pur- 
pose; it  was  labor  in  vain." 

"Even  under  the  dominion  of  the  church  in 
mission  days,"  Reid  says,  "the  neophytes  were 
addicted  both  to  drinking  and  gaming,  with 
an  inclination  to  steal;"  but  after  their  emanci- 
pation they  went  from  bad  to  worse.  Those  at- 
tached to  the  ranchos  and  those  located  in  the 
town  were  virtually  slaves.  They  had  bosses 
or  owners  and  when  they  ran  away  were  cap- 
tured and  returned  to  their  master.  The  account 
book  for  1840  of  the  sindico  of  Los  Angeles 
contains  this  item.  "For  the  delivery  of  two 
Indians  to  their  boss  $12." 

In  all  the  large  towns  there  was  an  Indian 
village  known  as  the  pueblito  or  little  town. 
These  were  the  sink  holes  of  crime  and  the 
favorite  resorts  of  dissolute  characters,  both 
white  and  red.  The  Indian  village  at  Los  An- 
geles between  what  is  now  Aliso  and  First  street 
became  such  an  intolerable  nuisance  that  on 
petition  of  the  citizens  it  was  removed  across 
the  river  to  the  "Spring  of  the  Abilas,"  but  its 
removal  did  not  improve  its  morals.  Vicente 
Guerrero,  the  sindico,  discussing  the  Indian 
question  before  the  ayuntamiento  said,  "The  In- 
dians are  so  utterly  depraved  that  no  matter 
where  they  may  settle  down  their  conduct  would 
be  the  same,  since  they  look  upon  death  even 
with  indifference,  provided  they  can  indulge  in 
their  pleasures  and  vices."  This  was  their  con- 
dition in  less  than  a  decade  after  they  were  freed 
from  mission  control. 

What  did  six  decades  of  mission  rule  accom- 
plish for  the  Indian?  In  all  the  older  missions 
between  their  founding  and  their  secularization 
three  generations  of  adults  had  come  under  the 
influence  of  mission  life  and  training — first,  the 
adull  converts  made  soon  after  the  founding; 
second,  their  children  born  at  the  missions,  and 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL    RECORD. 


101 


third,  the  children  of  these  who  had  grown  to 
manhood  before  the  fall  of  the  missions.  How 
great  an  improvement  had  the  neophytes  of  the 
third  generation  made  over  those  of  the  first? 
They  had  to  a  great  extent  lost  their  original 
language  and  had  acquired  a  speaking  knowl- 
edge of  Spanish.  They  had  abandoned  or 
forgotten  their  primitive  religious  belief,  but 
their  new  religion  exercised  but  little  influence 
on  their  lives.  After  their  emancipation  they 
went  from  bad  to  worse.  Some  of  the  more 
daring  escaped  to  the  mountains  and  joining 
the  wild  tribes  there  became  the  leaders  in 
frequent  predatory  excursions  on  the  horses  and 
cattle  of  the  settlers  in  the  valleys.  They  were 
hunted  down  and  shot  like  wild  beasts. 

What  became  of  the  mission  estates?  As  the 
cattle  were  killed  off  the  different  ranchos  of 
the  mission  domains,  settlers  petitioned  the 
ayuntamiento  for  grants.  If  upon  investigation 
it  was  found  that  the  land  asked  for  was  vacant 
the  petition  was  referred  to  the  governor  for  his 
approval.  In  this  way  the  vast  mission  domains 
passed  into  private  hands.  The  country  im- 
proved more  in  wealth  and  population  between 
1836  and  1846  than  in  the  previous  fifty  years. 
Secularization   was   destruction   to   the   mission 


and  death  to  the  Indian,  but  it  was  beneficial 
to  the  country  at  large.  The  decline  of  the  mis- 
sions and  the  passing  of  the  neophyte  had  be- 
gun long  before  the  decrees  of  secularization 
were  enforced.  Nearly  all  the  missions  passed 
their  zenith  in  population  during  the  second 
decade  of  the  century.  Even  had  the  mission- 
ary establishments  not  been  secularized  they 
would  eventually  have  been  depopulated.  At  no 
time  during  the  mission  rule  were  the  number 
of  births  equal  to  the  number  of  deaths.  When 
recruits  could  no  longer  be  obtained  from  the 
Gentiles  or  wild  Indians  the  decline  became 
more  rapid.  The  mission  annals  show  that  from 
1769  to  1834,  when  secularization  was  enforced 
— an  interval  of  sixty-five  years — 79,000  con- 
verts were  baptized  and  62,000  deaths  recorded. 
The  death  rate  among  the  neophytes  was  about 
twice  that  of  the  negro  in  this  country  and 
four  times  that  of  the  white  race.  The  extinc- 
tion of  the  neophyte  or  mission  Indian  was 
due  to  the  enforcement  of  that  inexorable  law 
or  decree  of  nature,  the  Survival  of  the  Fittest. 
Where  a  stronger  race  comes  in  contact  with 
a  weaker,  there  can  be  but  one  termination 
of  the  contest — the  extermination  of  the 
weaker. 


CHAPTER   XIII. 

THE  FREE  AND  SOVEREIGN  STATE  OF  ALTA  CALIFORNIA. 


GOVERNOR  FIGUEROA  on  his  death- 
bed turned  over  the  civil  command  of 
the  territory  to  Jose  Castro,  who  there- 
b)  became  "gefe  politico  ad  interem."  The 
military  command  was  given  to  Lieut.-Col. 
Xicolas  Gutierrez  with  the  rank  of  comandante 
general.  The  separation  of  the  two  commands 
was  in  accordance  with  the  national  law  of  May 
6,  1822. 

Castro  was  a  member  of  the  diputacion,  but 
was  not  senior  vocal  i  r  president.  Jose  An- 
tonio Carrillo,  who  held  that  position,  was 
diputado  or  delegate  to  congress  and  was  at 
that  time  in  the  city  of  Mexico.  It  was  he  who 
secured  the  decree  from  the  Mexican  Congress 
May  23,  1835,  making  Los  Angeles  the  capital 


of  California,  and  elevating  it  to  the  rank  of  a 
city.  The  second  vocal,  Jose  Antonio  Estudillo, 
was  sick  at  his  home  in  San  Diego.  Jose  (  as 
tro  ranked  third.  He  was  the  onl)  one  of  the 
diputacion  at  the  capital  and  at  the  previous 
meeting  of  the  diputacion  he  had  acted  as  pre- 
siding officer.  Gutierrez,  who  was  at  San  Ga- 
briel when  appointed  to  the  military  command, 
hastened  to  Monterey,  but  did  not  reach  there 
until  after  the  death  of   Figi  ro,  on 

assuming  command,  sent  a  notification  of  bis 
appointment  to  the  civil  authorities  of  the  dif- 
ferent jurisdictions.  All  1  .rably 
,  xcept  San  !  >i<  go  ind  Los  A 
claimed  the  office  for  Estudillo,  second  vocal, 
and   Los    Angeles  declared    igainsl   Castro  be- 


102 


HISTORICAL   AXD    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


cause  he  was  only  third  vocal  and  demanded  that 
the  diputacion  should  meet  at  the  legal  capital 
(Los  Angeles)  of  the  territory.  This  was  the 
beginning  of  the  capital  war  that  lasted  ten  years 
and  increased  in  bitterness  as  it  increased  in 
age.  The  diputacion  met  at  Monterey.  It  de- 
cided in  favor  of  Castro  and  against  removing 
the  capital  to  Los  Angeles. 

Castro  executed  the  civil  functions  of  gefe 
politico  four  months  and  then,  in  accordance 
with  orders  from  the  supreme  government,  he 
turned  over  his  part  of  the  governorship  to 
Comandante  General  Gutierrez  and  again  the 
two  commands  were  united  in  one  person. 
Gutierrez  filled  the  office  of  "gobernador  in- 
terno"  from  January  2,  1836,  to  the  arrival  of  his 
successor,  Mariano  Chico.  Chico  had  been  ap- 
pointed governor  by  President  Barragan,  Decem- 
ber 16,  1835,  Dut  ^id  not  arr've  m  California 
until  April,  1836.  Thus  California  had  four 
governors  within  nine  months.  They  changed 
so  rapidly  there  was  not  time  to  foment  a  rev- 
olution. Chico  began  his  administration  by  a 
series  of  pett)  tyrannies.  Just  before  his  ar- 
rival in  California  a  vigilance  committee  at  Los 
Angeles  shot  to  death  Gervacio  Alispaz  and  his 
paramour,  Maria  del  Rosaria  Villa,  for  the  mur- 
der of  the  woman's  husband,  Domingo  Feliz. 
Alispaz  was  a  countryman  of  Chico.  Chico  had 
the  leaders  arrested  and  came  down  to  Los 
Angeles  with  the  avowed  purpi  se  of  executing 
Prudon,  Arzaga  and  Aranjo,  the  president,  sec- 
retary and  military  commander,  respectively,  of 
the  Defenders  of  Public  Security,  as  the  vigi- 
lantes called  themselves.  He  announced  his 
intention  of  arresting  and  punishing  every  man 
who  had  taken  part  in  the  banishment  of  Gov- 
ernor Victoria.  He  summoned  Don  Abel 
Stearns  to  Monterey  and  threatened  to  have  him 
shot  for  -nine  imaginary  offense.  He  fulminated 
a  fierce  pronunciamento  against  foreigners,  that 
incurred  their  wrath,  and  made  himself  so  odious 
that  he  was  hated  b\  all.  native  or  foreigner, 
lie  was  a  centralist  and  opposed  to  popular 
rights.  Exasperated  beyond  endurance  by  his 
Ions  conduct  and  unseemly  exhibitions  of 
temper  the  people  of  Monterey  rose  en  masse 
against  him.  and  so  terrified  him  that  he  took 
passage  on  board  a  brig  that  was  lying  in  the 


harbor  and  sailed  for  Mexico  with  the  threat 
that  he  would  return  with  an  armed  iorce  to 
punish  the  rebellious  Californians,  but  he  never 
came  back  again. 

With  the  enforced  departure  of  Chico,  the 
civil  command  of  the  territory  devolved  upon 
Nicolas  Gutierrez,  who  still  held  the  military 
command.  He  was  of  Spanish  birth  and  a  cen- 
tralist or  anti-federalist  in  politics.  Although  a 
mild  mannered  man  he  seemed  to  be  impressed 
with  the  idea  that  he  must  carry  out  the  arbi- 
trary measures  of  his  predecessor.  Centralism 
was  his  nemesis.  Like  Chico,  he  was  opposed 
to  popular  rights  and  at  one  time  gave  orders 
to  disperse  the  diputacion  by  force.  He  was 
not  long  in  making  himself  unpopular  by  at- 
tempting to  enforce  the  centralist  decrees  of  the 
Mexican   Congress. 

He  quarreled  with  Juan  Bautista  Alvarado, 
the  ablest  of  the  native  Californians.  Alvarado 
and  Jose  Castro  raised  the  standard  of  revolt. 
They  gathered  together  a  small  army  of  ranch- 
eros  and  an  auxiliary  force  of  twenty-five  Amer- 
ican hunters  and  trappers  under  Graham,  a 
backwoodsman  from  Tennessee.  By  a  strategic 
movement  they  captured  the  castillo  or  fort 
which  commanded  the  presidio,  where  Gutierrez 
and  the  Mexican  army  officials  were  stationed. 
The  patriots  demanded  the  surrender  of  the 
presidio  and  the  arms.  The  governor  refused. 
The  revolutionists  had  been  able  to  find  but 
a  single  cannon  ball  in  the  castillo,  but  this  was 
sufficient  to  do  the  business.  A  well-directed 
shot  tore  through  the  roof  of  the  governor's 
house,  covering  him  and  his  staff  with  the  debris 
of  broken  tiles;  that  and  the  desertion  of  most 
of  his  soldiers  to  the  patriots  brought  him  to 
terms.  On  the  5th  of  November,  1836,  he  sur- 
rendered the  presidio  and  resigned  his  authority 
as  governor.  He  and  about  seventy  of  his  ad- 
herents were  sent  aboard  a  vessel  lying  in  the 
harbor  and  shipped  out  of  the  country. 

With  the  Mexican  governor  and  his  officers 
out  of  the  country,  the  next  move  of  Castro  and 
Alvarado  was  to  call  a  meeting  of  the  diputa- 
cion or  territorial  congress.  A  plan  for  the 
independence  of  California  was  adopted.  This, 
which  was  known  afterwards  as  the  Monterey 
plan,    consisted    of   six   sections,    the    most   tin- 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL    RECORD. 


M.; 


portant  of  which  were  as  follows:  "First,  Alta 
California  hereby  declares  itself  independent 
from  Mexico  until  the  Federal  System  of  1824 
is  restored.  Second,  the  same  California  is 
hereby  declared  a  free  and  sovereign  state;  es- 
tablishing a  congress  to  enact  the  special  laws 
of  the  country  and  the  other  necessary  supreme 
powers.  Third,  the  Roman  Apostolic  Catholic 
religion  shall  prevail;  no  other  creed  shall  be 
allowed,  but  the  government  shall  not  molest 
anyone  on  account  of  his  private  opinions." 
The  diputacion  issued  a  declaration  of  independ- 
ence that  arraigned  the  mother  country,  Mexico, 
and  her  officials  very  much  in  the  style  that  our 
own  Declaration  gives  it  to  King  George  III. 
and  England. 

Castro  issued  a  pronunciamiento,  ending  with 
Viva  La  Federacion!  Viva  La  Libertad!  Viva 
el  Estado  Libre  y  Soberano  de  Alta  California! 
Thus  amid  vivas  and  proclamations,  with  the 
beating  of  drums  and  the  booming  of  cannon, 
El  Estado  Libre  de  Alta  California  (The  Free 
State  of  Alta  California)  was  launched  on  the 
political  sea.  But  it  was  rough  sailing  for  the 
little  craft.  Her  ship  of  state  struck  a  rock  and 
lor  a  time  shipwreck  was  threatened. 

For  years  there  had  been  a  growing  jealousy 
between  Northern  and  Southern  California. 
Los  Angeles,  as  has  been  stated  before,  had  by  a 
decree  of  the  Mexican  congress  been  made  the 
capital  of  the  territory.  Monterey  had  per- 
sistently refused  to  give  up  the  governor  and 
the  archives.  In  the  movement  to  make  Alta 
California  a  free  and  independent  state,  the  An- 
gelenos  recognized  an  attempt  on  the  part  of 
the  people  of  the  north  to  deprive  them  of  the 
capital.  Although  as  bitterly  opposed  to  Mex- 
ican governors,  and  as  active  in  fomenting  revo- 
lutions against  them  as  the  people  of  Monterey, 
the  Angelenos  chose  to  profess  loyalty  to  the 
mother  country.  They  opposed  the  plan  of 
government  adopted  by  the  congress  at  Mon- 
terey and  promulgated  a  plan  of  their  own,  in 
which  they  declared  California  was  not  free; 
that  the  "Roman  Catholic  Apostolic  religion 
shall  prevail  in  this  jurisdiction,  and  any  person 
publicly  professing  any  other  shall  be  pros- 
ecuted by  law  as  heretofore."  A  mass  meeting 
was   called   to   take   measures   "to   prevent   the 


spreading  of  the  Monterey  revolution,  so  that 
the  progress  of  the  nation  may  not  be 
paralyzed,"  and  to  appoint  a  person  to  take  mil- 
itary command  of  the  department. 

San  Diego  and  San  Luis  Rev  took  the  part 
of  Los  Angeles  in  the  quarrel,  Sonoma  and  San 
Jose  joined  Monterey,  while  Santa  Barbara,  al- 
ways conservative,  was  undecided,  but  finally 
issued  a  plan  of  her  own.  Alvarado  and  Castro 
determined  to  suppress  the  revolutionary  An- 
gelenos. They  collected  a  force  of  one  hun- 
dred men,  made  up  of  natives,  with  Graham's 
contingent  of  twenty-five  American  riflemen. 
With  this  army  they  prepared  to  move  against 
the   recalcitrant   surenos. 

The  ayuntamiento  of  Los  Angeles  began 
preparations  to  resist  the  invaders.  An  army  of 
two  hundred  and  seventy  men  was  enrolled,  a 
part  of  which  was  made  up  of  neophytes.  To  se- 
cure the  sinews  of  war  Jose  Sepulveda,  second  al- 
calde, was  sent  to  the  Mission  San  Fernando 
to  secure  what  money  there  was  in  the  hands  of 
the  major  domo.  He  returned  with  two  pack- 
ages, which,  when  counted,  were  found  to  con- 
tain $2,000. 

Scouts  patrolled  the  Santa  Barbara  road  as 
far  as  San  Buenaventura  to  give  warning  of  the 
approach  of  the  enemy,  and  pickets  guarded  the 
Pass  of  Cahuenga  and  the  Rodeo  de  Las  Aguas 
to  prevent  northern  spies  from  entering  and 
southern  traitors  from  getting  out  of  the  pueblo. 
The  southern  army  was  stationed  at  San  Fer- 
nando under  the  command  of  Alferez  (Lieut.) 
Rocha.  Alvarado  and  Castro,  pushing  down  the 
coast,  reached  Santa  Barbara,  where  they  were 
kindly  received  and  their  force  recruited  to  one 
hundred  and  twenty  men  with  two  pieces  of 
artillery.  Jose  Sepulveda  at  San  Fernando  sent 
to  Los  Angeles  for  the  cannon  at  the  town 
house  and  $200  of  the  mission  mi  mey  to  pay  his 
men. 

(  In  the  16th  of  January.  [837,  Alvarado  from 
San  Buenaventura  dispatched  a  communication 
to  the  ayuntamiento  of  Los  Angeles  and  the 
citizens,  telling  their  vhat  military  resources 
he  had,  which  he  would  use  against  them  if  it 
became  necessary,  but  he  was  willing  to  confer 
upi  m  a  plan  ment.     Sepulveda  and  An- 

tonio   M.   Osio  were  appointed  commissioners 


104 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


and  sent  to  confer  with  the  governor,  armed 
with  several  propositions,  the  substance  of 
which  was  that  California  shall  not  be  free  and 
the  Catholic  religion  must  prevail  with  the 
privilege  to  prosecute  any  other  religion,  "ac- 
cording to  law  as  heretofore."  The  commission- 
ers met  Alvarado  on  "neutral  ground,"  between 
San  Fernando  and  San  Buenaventura.  A  long 
discussion  followed  without  either  coming  to  the 
point.  Alvarado,  by  a  coup  d'etat,  brought  it 
to  an  end.  In  the  language  of  the  commission- 
ers' report  to  the  ayuntamiento:  "While  we 
were  a  certain  distance  from  our  own  forces  with 
only  four  unarmed  men  and  were  on  the  point  of 
coming  to  an  agreement  with  Juan  B.  Alvarado, 
we  saw  the  Monterey  division  advancing  upon 
us  and  we  were  forced  to  deliver  up  the  instruc- 
tions of  this  illustrious  body  through  fear  of 
being  attacked."  They  delivered  up  not  only 
the  instructions,  but  the  Mission  San  Fer- 
nando. The  southern  army  was  compelled  to 
surrender  it  and  fall  back  on  the  pueblo,  Rocha 
swearing  worse  than  "our  army  in  Flanders" 
because  he  w'as  not  allowed  to  fight.  The  south- 
ern soldiers  had  a  wholesome  dread  of  Gra- 
ham's riflemen.  These  fellows,  armed  with  long 
Kentucky  rifles,  shot  to  kill,  and  a  battle  once 
begun  somebody  would  have  died  for  his  coun- 
try and  it  would  not  have  been  Alvarado's  rifle- 
men. 

The  day  after  the  surrender  of  the  mission, 
January  21,  1837,  the  ayuntamiento  held  a  ses- 
sion and  the  members  were  as  obdurate  and 
belligerent  as  ever.  They  resolved  that  it  was 
only  in  the  interests  of  humanity  that  the  mis- 
sion had  been  surrendered  and  their  army 
forced  to  retire.  "This  ayuntamiento,  consider- 
ing the  commissioners  wore  forced  to  comply, 
annuls  all  action  of  the  commissioners  and  does 
not  recognize  this  territory  as  a  free  and  sov- 
ereign state  nor  Juan  B.  Alvarado  as  its  gov- 
ernor, and  declares  itself  in  favor  of  the  Supreme 
Government  of  Mexico."  A  few  days  later  Al- 
varado entered  the  city  without  opposition,  the 
Angelenian  soldiers  retiring  to  San  Gabriel  and 
from  there  scattering  to  their  homes. 

On  the  26th  of  January  an  extraordinary 
v.  ssion  of  the  most  illustrious  ayuntamiento  was 
held.    Alvarado  was  present  and  made  a  lengthy 


speech,  in  which  he  said,  "The  native  sons  were 
subjected  to  ridicule  by  the  Mexican  mandarins 
sent  here,  and  knowing  our  rights  we  ought  to 
shake  off  the  ominous  yoke  of  bondage."  Then 
he  produced  and  read  the  six  articles  of  the 
Monterey  plan,  the  council  also  produced  a  plan 
and  a  treaty  of  amity  was  effected.  Alvarado 
was  recognized  as  governor  pro  tem.  and  peace 
reigned.  The  belligerent  surenos  vied  with  each 
other  in  expressing  their  admiration  for  the  new 
order  of  things.  Pio  Pico  wished  to  ex- 
press the  pleasure  it  gave  him  to  see  a  "hijo 
del  pais"  in  office.  And  Antonio  Osio, 
the  most  belligerent  of  the  surenos,  declared 
"that  sooner  than  again  submit  to  a  Mexican 
dictator  as  governor,  he  would  flee  to  the  forest 
and  be  devoured  by  wild  beasts."  The  ayunta- 
miento was  asked  to  provide  a  building  for  the 
government,  "this  being  the  capital  of  the  state." 
The  hatchet  apparently  was  buried.  Peace 
reigned  in  El  Estado  Libre.  At  the  meeting  of 
the  town  council,  on  the  30th  of  January,  Al- 
varado made  another  speech,  but  it  was  neither 
conciliatory  nor  complimentary.  He  arraigned 
the  "traitors  who  were  working  against  the 
peace  of  the  country"  and  urged  the  members  to 
take  measures  "to  liberate  the  city  from  the 
hidden  hands  that  will  tangle  them  in  their  own 
ruin."  The  pay  of  his  troops  who  were  ordered 
here  for  the  welfare  of  California  is  due  "and 
it  is  an  honorable  and  preferred  debt,  therefore 
the  ayuntamiento  will  deliver  to  the  government 
the  San  Fernando  money,"  said  he.  With  a 
wry  face,  very  much  such  as  a  boy  wears  when 
he  is  told  that  he  has  been  spanked  for  his  own 
good,  the  alcalde  turned  over  the  balance  of 
the  mission  money  to  Juan  Bautista,  and  the 
governor  took  his  departure  for  Monterey, 
leaving,  however,  Col.  Jose  Castro  with  part  of 
his  army  stationed  at  Mission  San  Gabriel,  os- 
tensibly "to  support  the  city's  authority,"  but  in 
reality  to  keep  a  close  watch  on  the  city  author- 
ities. 

Los  Angeles  was  subjugated,  peace  reigned 
and  El  Estado  Libre  de  Alta  California  took  her 
place  among  the  nations  of  the  earth.  But 
peace's  reign  was  brief.  At  the  meeting  of  the 
ayuntamiento  May  27,  1838,  Juan  Bandini  and 
Santiago   E.   Arguello  of  San  Diego,  appeared 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


105 


with  a  pronunciamiento  and  a  plan,  San 
Diego's  plan  of  government.  Monterey,  Santa 
Barbara  and  Los  Angeles  had  each  formulated 
a  plan  of  government  for  the  territory,  and  now 
it  was  San  Diego's  turn.  Agustin  V.  Zamorano, 
who  had  been  exiled  with  Governor  Gutierrez, 
had  crossed  the  frontier  and  was  made  comand- 
ante-general  and  territorial  political  chief  ad 
interim  by  the  San  Diego  revolutionists.  The 
plan  restored  California  to  obedience  to  the 
supreme  government;  all  acts  of  the  diputa- 
cion  and  the  Monterey  plan  were  annulled  and 
the  northern  rebels  were  to  be  arraigned  and 
tried  for  their  part  in  the  revolution;  and  so  on 
through  twenty  articles. 

On  the  plea  of  an  Indian  outbreak  near  San 
Diego,  in  which  the  redmen,  it  was  said,  "were 
to  make  an  end  of  the  white  race,"  the  big  can- 
non and  a  number  of  men  were  secured  at  Los 
Angeles  to  assist  in  suppressing  the  Indians, 
but  in  reality  to  reinforce  the  army  of  the  San 
Diego  revolutionists.  With  a  force  of  one  hun- 
dred and  twenty-five  men  under  Zamorano  and 
Portilla,  "the  army  of  the  supreme  government" 
moved  against  Castro  at  Los  Angeles.  Castro 
retreated  to  Santa  Barbara  and  Portilla's  army- 
took  position  at  San  Fernando. 

The  civil  and  military  officials  of  Los  Angeles 
took  the  oath  to  support  the  Mexican  consti- 
tution of  1836  and,  in  their  opinion,  this 
absolved  them  from  all  allegiance  to  Juan  Bau- 
tista  and  his  Monterey  plan.  Alvarado  hurried 
reinforcements  to  Castro  at  Santa  Barbara,  and 
Portilla  called  loudly  for  "men,  arms  and 
horses,"  to  march  against  the  northern  rebels. 
But  neither  military  chieftain  advanced,  and  the 
summer  wore  away  without  a  battle.  There 
were  rumors  that  Mexico  was  preparing  to  send 
an  army  of  one  thousand  men  to  subjugate  the 
rebellious  Californians.  In  October  came  the 
news  that  Jose  Antonio  Carrillo,  the  Machiavelli 
of  California  politics,  had  persuaded  President 
Pustamente  to  appoint  Carlos  Carrillo,  Jose's 
brother,  governor  of  Alta  California. 

Then  consternation  seized  the  arribenos  (up- 
pers) of  the  north  and  the  abajehos  (lowers)  of 
Los  Angeles  went  wild  with  joy.  It  was  not 
that  they  loved  Carlos  Carrillo.  for  he  was  a 
Santa   Barbara  man  and   had  opposed   them   in 


the  late  unpleasantness,  but  they  saw  in  his  ap- 
pointment an  opportunity  to  get  revenge  on 
Juan  Bautista  for  the  way  he  had  humiliated 
them.  They  sent  congratulatory  messages  to 
Carrillo  and  invited  him  to  make  Los  Angeles 
the  seat  of  his  government.  Carrillo  was  flat- 
tered by  their  attentions  and  consented.  The 
6th  of  December,  1837,  was  set  for  his  inaugura- 
tion, and  great  preparations  were  made  for  the 
event.  The  big  cannon  was  brought  over  from 
San  Gabriel  to  fire  salutes  and  the  city  was 
ordered  illuminated  on  the  nights  of  the  6th, 
7th  and  8th  of  December.  Cards  of  invitation 
were  issued  and  the  people  from  the  city  and 
country  were  invited  to  attend  the  inauguration 
ceremonies,  "dressed  as  decent  as  possible,"  so 
read  the  invitations. 

The  widow  Josefa  Alvarado's  house,  the  fin- 
est in  the  city,  was  secured  for  the  governor's 
palacio  (palace).  The  largest  hall  in  the  city 
was  secured  for  the  services  and  decorated  as 
well  as  it  was  possible.  The  city  treasury,  being 
in  its  usual  state  of  collapse,  a  subscription  for 
defraying  the  expenses  was  opened  and  horses, 
hides  and  tallow,  the  current  coin  of  the  pueblo, 
were  liberally  contributed. 

On  the  appointed  day.  "the  most  illustrious 
ayuntamiento  and  the  citizens  of  the  neighbor- 
hood(sothe  old  archives  read)met  his  excellency, 
the  governor,  Don  Carlos  Carrillo,  who  made 
his  appearance  with  a  magnificent  accompani- 
ment." The  secretary,  Narciso  Botello,  "read  in 
a  loud,  clear  and  intelligible  voice,  the  oath,  and 
the  governor  repeated  it  after  him."  At  the 
moment  the  oath  was  completed,  the  artillery 
thundered  forth  a  salute  and  the  bells  rang  out 
a  merrv  peal.  The  governor  made  a  speech, 
when  all  adjourned  to  the  church,  where  a  mas> 
was  said  and  a  solemn  Te  Dunn  sung:  after 
which  all  repaired  to  the  house  of  his  excellency, 
where  the  southern  patriots  drank  his  health  in 
bumpers  of  wine  and  shouted  themselves  hoarse 
in  vivas  to  the  new  government.  An  inaugura- 
tion ball  was  In  Id- the  "beauty  and  the  chivalry 
of  the  south  were  gathered  there."  I  lutside  the 
tallow  dips  flared  and  flickered  from  the  porticos 
of  the  house,  bonfires  blazed  in  the  streets  and 
cannon  boomed  salvs  from  the  old  plaza.  Los 
Angeles  was  the  capital  at  last  and  had  a  gov- 


106 


HISTORICAL   AXD    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


ernor  all  to  herself,  for  Santa  Barbara  refused 
to  recognize  Carrillo,  although  he  belonged 
within  its  jurisdiction. 

The  Angelenos  determined  to  subjugate  the 
Barbarenos.  An  army  of  two  hundred  men, 
under  Castenada,  was  sent  to  capture  the  city. 
After  a  few  futile  demonstrations,  Castenada's 
forces  fell  back  to  San  Buenaventura. 

Then  Alvarado  determined  to  subjugate  the 
Angelenos.  He  and  Castro,  gathering  together 
an  army  of  two  hundred  men.  by  forced  marches 
reached  San  .Buenaventura,  and  by  a  strategic 
movement  captured  all  of  Castenada's  horses 
and  drove  his  army  into  the  mission  church. 
For  two  days  the  battle  raged  and,  "cannon  to 
the  right  of  them,"  and  "cannon  in  front  of  them 
volleyed  and  thundered."  One  man  was  killed 
on  the  northern  side  and  the  blood  of  several 
mustangs  watered  the  soil  of  their  native  land — 
died  for  their  country.  The  southerners  slipped 
out  of  the  church  at  night  and  fled  up  the  val- 
ley on  foot.  Castro's  caballeros  captured  about 
seventy  prisoners.  Bio  Pico,  with  reinforce- 
ments, met  the  remnant  of  Castenada's  arm)-  at 
the  Santa  Clara  river,  and  together  all  fell  back 
to  Los  Angeles.  Then  there  was  wailing  in  the 
old  pueblo,  where  so  lately  there  had  been  re- 
joicing. Gov.  Carlos  Carrillo  gathered  to- 
gether what  men  he  could  get  to  go  with  him 
and  retreated  to  San  Diego.  Alvarado's  army 
took  possession  of  the  southern  capital  and 
some  of  the  leading  conspirators  were  sent  as 
prisoners  to  the  Castillo  at  Sonoma. 

Carrillo,  at  San  Diego,  received  a  small  re- 
inforcement from  Mexico,  under  a  Captain 
Tobar.  Tobar  was  made  general  and  given 
command  of  the  southern  army.  Carrillo,  hav- 
ing recovered  from  his  fright,  sent  an  order  to 
the  northern  rebels  to  surrender  within  fifteen 
days  under  penalty  of  being  shot  as  traitors  if 
they  refused.  In  the  meantime  Los  Angeles 
was  held  by  the  enemy.  The  second  alcalde 
(the  first,  Louis  Aranas,  was  a  prisoner)  called 
a  meeting  to  devise  some  means  "to  have  his 
excellency,  Don  Carlos  Carrillo,  return  to  this 
capital,  as  his  presence  is  very  much  desired  by 
the  citizens  to  protect  their  lives  and  property." 
\  committee  was  appointed  to  locate  Don 
Carlos. 


Instead  of  surrendering,  Castro  and  Alvarado, 
with  a  force  of  two  hundred  men,  advanced 
against  Carrillo.  The  two  armies  met  at  Campo 
de  Las  Flores.  General  Tobar  had  fortified  a 
cattle  corral  with  rawhides,  carretas  and  cot- 
tonw:ood  poles.  A  few  shots  from  Alvarado's 
artillery  scattered  Tobar's  rawhide  fortifications. 
Carrillo  surrendered.  Tobar  and  a  few  of  the 
leaders  escaped  to  Mexico.  Alvarado  ordered 
the  misguided  Angelehian  soldiers  to  go  home 
and  behave  themselves.  He  brought  the  captive 
governor  back  with  him  and  left  him  with  his 
(Carrillo's)  wife  at  Santa  Barbara,  who  became 
surety  for  the  deposed  ruler.  Not  content  with 
his  unfortunate  attempts  to  rule,  he  again 
claimed  the  governorship  on  the  plea  that  he 
had  been  appointed  by  the  supreme  government. 
But  the  Angelenos  had  had  enough  of  him. 
Disgusted  with  his  incompetency,  Juan  Gallardo, 
at  the  session  of  May  14,  1838,  presented  a  pe- 
tition praying  that  this  ayuntamiento  do  not  rec- 
ognize Carlos  Carrillo  as  governor,  and  setting 
forth  the  reasons  why  we,  the  petitioners, 
"should  declare  ourselves  subject  to  the  north- 
ern governor"  and  why  they  opposed  Car- 
rillo." 

"First.  In  having  compromised  the  people 
from  San  Buenaventura  south  into  a  declara- 
tion of  war,  the  incalculable  calamities  of  which 
will  never  be  forgotten,  not  even  by  the  most 
ignorant. 

"Second.  Not  satisfied  with  the  unfortunate 
event  of  San  Buenaventura,  he  repeated  the 
same  at  Campo  de  Las  Flores.  which,  only 
through  a  divine  dispensation,  California  is  not 
to-day  in  mourning."  Seventy  citizens  signed 
the  petition,  but  the  city  attorney,  who  had  done 
time  in  Yallejo's  castillo,  decided  the  petition  il- 
legal because  it  was  written  on  common  paper 
when  paper  with  the  proper  seal  could  be  ob- 
tained. 

Next  day  Gallardo  returned  with  his  petition 
on  legal  paper.  The  ayuntamiento  decided  to 
sound  the  "public  alarm"  and  call  the  people  to- 
gether to  give  them  "public  speech."  The  pub- 
lic alarm  was  sounded.  The  people  assembled 
at  the  city  hall:  speeches  were  made  011,  both 
sides;  and  when  the  vote  was  taken  twenty-two 
were   in    favor   of   the   northern   governor,   five 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


Ki7 


in  favor  of  whatever  the  ayuntamiento  decides, 
and  Serbulo  Yareles  alone  voted  for  Don  Carlos 
Carrillo.  So  the  council  decided  to  recognize 
Don  Juan  I!autista  Alvarado  as  governor  and 
leave  the  supreme  government  to  settle  the  con- 
test between  him  and  Carrillo. 

Notwithstanding  this  apparent  burying  of  the 
hatchet,  there  were  rumors  of  plots  and  in- 
trigues in  Los  Angeles  and  San  Diego  against 
Alvarado.  At  length,  aggravated  beyond  en- 
durance, the  governor  sent  word  to  the  surenos 
that  if  they  did  not  behave  themselves  he  would 
shoot  ten  of  the  leading  men  of  the  south.  As 
he  had  about  that  number  locked  up  in  the 
Castillo  at  Sonoma,  his  was  no  idle  threat.  One 
by  one  Alvarado's  prisoners  of  state  were  re- 
leased from  Yallejo's  bastile  at  Sonoma  and  re- 
turned to  Los  Angeles,  sadder  if  not  wiser  men. 
At  the  session  of  the  ayuntamiento  October  20, 
1838,  the  president  announced  that  Senior 
Regidor  Jose  Palomares  had  returned  from 
Sonoma,  where  he  had  been  compelled  to  go 
by  'reason  of  "political  differences,"  and  that  he 
should  be  allowed  his  seat  in  the  council.  The 
request  was  granted  unanimously. 

At  the  next  meeting  Narciso  Botello,  its  for- 
mer secretary,  after  five  and  a  half  months'  im- 
prisonment at  Sonoma,  put  in  an  appearance  ami 
claimed  his  office  and  his  pay.  Although  others 
had  filled  the  office  in  the  interim  the  illustrious 
ayuntamiento,  "ignoring  for  what  offense  he  was 
incarcerated,  could  not  suspend  his  salary." 
But  his  salary  was  suspended.  The  treasury 
was  empty.  The  last  horse  and  the  last  hide  had 
been  paid  out  to  defray  the  expense  of  the  in- 
auguration festivities  of  Carlos,  the  Pretender, 
and  the  civil  war  that  followed.  Indeed  there 
was  a  treasury  deficit  of  whole  caballadas  of 
horses,  and  bales  of  hides.     Xarciso's  back  pay 


was  a  preferred  claim  that  outlasted  El  Estado 
Libre. 

The  surenos  of  Los  Angeles  and  San  Diego, 
finding  that  in  Alvarado  they  had  a  man  of  cour- 
age and  determination  to  deal  with,  ceased  from 
troubling  him  and  submitted  to  the  inevitable. 
At  the  meeting  of  the  ayuntamiento,  October  5, 
1839,  a  notification  was  received,  stating  that  the 
supreme  government  of  Mexico  had  appointed 
Juan  Bautista  Alvarado  governor  of  the  depart- 
ment. There  was  no  grumbling  or  dissent.  (  >n 
the  contrary,  the  records  say,  "This  illustrious 
body  acknowledges  receipt  of  the  communica- 
tion and  congratulated  his  excellency.  It  will 
announce  the  same  to  the  citizens  to-morrow 
(Sunday),  will  raise  the  national  colors,  salute 
the  same  with  the  required  number  of  volleys, 
and  will  invite  the  people  to  illuminate  their 
houses  for  a  better  display  in  rejoicing  at  such 
a  happy  appointment."  With  his  appointment 
by  the  supreme  government  the  "free  and  sov- 
ereign state  of  Alta  California"  became  a  dream 
of  the  past — a  dead  nation.  Indeed,  months  be- 
fore Alvarado  had  abandoned  his  idea  of  found- 
ing an  independent  state  and  had  taken  the  oath 
of  allegiance  to  the  constitution  of  1836.  The 
loyal  surenos  received  no  thanks  from  the  su- 
preme government  for  all  their  professions  of 
loyalty,  whilst  the  rebellious  arriberios  of  the 
north  obtained  all  the  rewards — the  governor, 
the  capital  and  the  offices.  The  supreme  -"\ 
ernment  gave  the  deposed  governor,  Carlos 
Carrillo,  a  grant  of  the  island  of  Santa  Rosa, 
in  the  Santa  Barbara  Channel,  but  whether  it 
was  given  him  as  a  sake  to  his  wounded  dignity 
or  as  an  Elba  or  St.  Helena,  where,  in  the  event 
of  his  stirring  up  another  revolution,  he  might 
be  banished  a  la  Napoleon,  the  records  <h>  not 
inform  us. 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL  RECORD. 


CHAPTER  XIV. 

DECLINE    AND    FALL    OF    MEXICAN    DOMINATION. 


WHILE  the  revolution  begun  by  Al- 
varado  and  Castro  had  not  established 
California's  independence,  it  had  effect- 
ually rid  the  territory  of  Mexican  dictators. 
A  native  son  was  governor  of  the  depart- 
ment of  the  Californians  (by  the  constitu- 
tion of  1836  Upper  and  Lower  California  had 
been  united  into  a  department);  another  native 
son  was  comandante  of  its  military  forces.  The 
membership  of  the  departmental  junta,  which 
had  taken  the  place  of  the  diputacion,  was 
largely  made  up  of  sons  of  the  soil,  and  natives 
filled  the  minor  offices.  In  their  zeal  to  rid 
themselves  of  Mexican  office-holders  they  had 
invoked  the  assistance  of  another  element  that 
was  ultimately  to  be  their  undoing. 

During  the  revolutionary  era  just  passed  the 
foreign  population  had  largely  increased.  Xot 
only  had  the  foreigners  come  by  sea,  but  they 
had  come  by  land.  Capt.  Jedediah  S.  Smith,  a 
New  England-born  trapper  and  hunter,  was  the 
first  man  to  enter  California  by  the  overland 
route.  A  number  of  trappers  and  hunters  came 
in  the  early  '30s  from  New  Mexico  by  way  of 
the  old  Spanish  trail.  This  immigration  was 
largely  American,  and  was  made  up  of  a  bold, 
adventurous  class  of  men,  some  of  them  not 
the'  most  desirable  immigrants.  Of  this  latter 
class  were  some  of  Graham's  followers. 

By  invoking  Graham's  aid  to  put  him  in 
power,  Alvarado  had  fastened  upon  his  shoul- 
ders an  old  Man  of  the  Sea.  It  was  easy  enough 
to  enlist  the  services  of  Graham's  riflemen,  but 
altogether  another  matter  to  get  rid  of  them. 
Now  that  he  was  firmly  established  in  power, 
Alvarado  would,  no  doubt,  have  been  glad  to  be 
rid  entirely  of  his  recent  allies,  but  Graham  and 
his  adherents  were  not  backward  in  giving  him 
to  understand  that  he  owed  his  position  to  them, 
and  they  wer<  inclined  to  put  themselves  on  an 
equality  with  him.  This  did  not  comport  with 
his   ideas  of  the  dignity  of  his  office.     To  be 


hailed  by  some  rough  buckskin-clad  trapper 
with  "Ho!  Bautista;  come  here,  I  want  to  speak 
with  you,"  was  an  affront  to  his  pride  that  the 
governor  of  the  two  Californias  could  not 
quietly  pass  over,  and,  besides,  like  all  of  his 
countrymen,  he  disliked  foreigners. 

There  were  rumors  of  another  revolution,  and 
it  was  not  difficult  to  persuade  Alvarado  that 
the  foreigners  were  plottingto  revolutionize  Cal- 
ifornia. Mexico  had  recently  lost  Texas,  and 
the  same  class  of  "malditos  extranjeros"  (wicked 
strangers)  were  invading  California,  and  would 
ultimately  possess  themselves  of  the  country.  Ac- 
cordingly, secret  orders  were  sent  throughout 
the  department  to  arrest  and  imprison  all  for- 
eigners. Over  one  hundred  men  of  different 
nationalities  were  arrested,  principally  Amer- 
icans and  English.  Of  these  forty-seven  were 
shipped  to  San  Bias,  and  from  there  marched 
overland  to  Tepic,  where  they  were  imprisoned 
for  several  months.  Through  the  efforts  of  the 
British  consul,  Barron,  they  were  released. 
Castro,  who  had  accompanied  the  prisoners  to 
Mexico  to  prefer  charges  against  them,  was 
placed  under  arrest  and  afterwards  tried  by 
court-martial,  but  was  acquitted.  He  had  been 
acting  under  orders  from  his  superiors.  After 
an  absence  of  over  a  year  twenty  of  the  exiles 
landed  at  Monterey  on  their  return  from  Mex- 
ico. Robinson,  who  saw  them  land,  says: 
"They  returned  neatly  dressed,  armed  with  rifles 
and  swords,  and  looking  in  much  better  condi- 
tion than  when  they  were  sent  away,  or  probably 
than  they  had  ever  looked  in  their  lives  before." 
The  Mexican  government  had  been  compelled 
to  pay  them  damages  for  their  arrest  and  im- 
prisonment and  to  return  them  to  California. 
Graham,  the  reputed  leader  of  the  foreigners, 
was  the  owner  of  a  distillery  near  Santa  Cruz, 
and  had  gathered  a  number  of  hard  characters 
around  him.  It  would  have  been  no  loss  had  he 
never  returned. 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL  RECORD. 


10! 


The  only  other  event  of  importance  during 
Alvarado's  term  as  governor  was  the  capture  of 
Monterey  by  Commodore  Ap  Catesby  Jones,  of 
the  United  States  navy.  This  event  happened 
after  Alvarado's  successor,  Micheltorena,  had 
landed  in  California,  but  before  the  government 
had  been  formally  turned  over  to  him. 

The  following  extract  from  the  diary  of  a 
pioneer,  who  was  an  eye-witness  of  the  affair, 
gives  a  good  description  of  the  capture: 

"Monterey,  Oct.  19,  1842. — At  2  p.  111.  the 
United  States  man-of-war  United  States,  Com- 
modore Ap  Catesby  Jones,  came  to  anchor  close 
alongside  and  in-shore  of  all  the  ships  in  port. 
About  3  p.  m.  Capt.  Armstrong  came  ashore, 
accompanied  by  an  interpreter,  and  went  direct 
to  the  governor's  house,  where  he  had  a  private 
conversation  with  him,  which  proved  to  be  a 
demand  for  the  surrender  of  the  entire  coast  of 
California,  upper  and  lower,  to  the  United 
States  government.  When  he  was  about  to  go 
on  board  he  gave  three  or  four  copies  of  a 
proclamation  to  the  inhabitants  of  the  two  Cali- 
fornias,  assuring  them  of  the  protection  of  their 
lives,  persons  and  property.  In  his  notice  to  the 
governor  (Alvarado)  he  gave  him  only  until  the 
following  morning  at  9  a.  m.  to  decide.  If  he 
received  no  answer,  then  he  would  fire  upon  the 
town." 

"I  remained  on  shore  that  night  and  went 
down  to  the  governor's  with  Mr.  Larkin  and 
Mr.  Eagle.  The  governor  had  had  some  idea 
of  running  away  and  leaving  Monterey  to  its 
fate,  but  was  told  by  Mr.  Spence  that  he  should 
not  go,  and  finally  he  resolved  to  await  the  re- 
sult. At  12  at  night  some  persons  were  sent 
on  board  the  United  States  who  had  been  ap- 
pointed by  the  governor  to  meet  the  commodore 
and  arrange  the  terms  of  the  surrender.  Next 
morning  at  half-past  ten  o'clock  about  one  hun- 
dred sailors  and  fifty  marines  disembarked.  The 
sailors  marched  up  from  the  shore  and  took  pos- 
session of  the  fort.  The  American  colors  were 
hoisted.  The  United  States  fired  a  salute  of  thir- 
teen guns ;  it  was  returned  by  the  fort,  which  fired 
twenty-six  guns.  The  marines  in  the  meantime 
had  marched  up  to  the  government  house.  The 
officers  and  soldiers  of  the  California  govern- 
ment were  discharged  and  their  guns  and  other 


arms  taken  possession  of  and  carried  to  the  fort. 
The  stars  and  stripes  now  wave  over  us.  Long 
may  they  wave  here  in  California!" 

"Oct.  21,  4  p.  m. — Elags  were  again  changed, 
the  vessels  were  released,  and  all  was  quiet  again. 
The  commodore  had  received  later  news  by 
some  Mexican  newspapers." 

Commodore  Jones  had  been  stationed  at  Cal- 
lao  with  a  squadron  of  four  vessels.  An  English 
fleet  was  also  there,  and  a  French  fleet  was 
cruising  in  the  Pacific.  Both  these  were  sup- 
posed to  have  designs  on  California.  Jones 
learned  that  the  English  admiral  had  received 
orders  to  sail  next  day.  Surmising  that  his  des- 
tination might  be  California,  he  slipped  out  of 
the  harbor  the  night  before  and  crowded  all  sail 
to  reach  California  before  the  English  admiral. 
The  loss  of  Texas,  and  the  constant  influx  of  im- 
migrants and  adventurers  from  the  United 
States  into  California,  had  embittered  the  Mex- 
ican government  more  and  more  against 
foreigners.  Manuel  Micheltorena,  who  had 
served  under  Santa  Anna  in  the  Texas  war, 
was  appointed  January  19,  1842,  comandanfe- 
general  inspector  and  gobernador  propietario  of 
the  Californias. 

Santa  Anna  was  president  of  the  Mexican  re- 
public. His  experience  with  Americans  in 
Texas  during  the  Texan  war  of  independence, 
in  1836-37,  had  determined  him  to  use  ever) 
effort  to  prevent  California  from  sharing  the  fate 
of  Texas. 

Micheltorena,  the  newly-appointed  governor, 
was  instructed  to  take  with  him  sufficient  f<  iree 
to  check  the  ingress  of  Americans.  He  recruited 
a  force  of  three  hundred  and  fifty  men.  prin- 
cipally convicts  enlisted  from  the  prisons  of 
Mexico.  His  army  of  thieves  and  ragamuffins 
landed  at  San  Diego  in  August,  1842. 

Robinson,  who  was  at  San  Diego  when  one 
of  the  vessels  conveying  Micheltorena's  cholos 
(convicts)  landed,  thus  describes  them:  "Five 
days  afterward  the  brig  ChatO  arrived  with 
ninety  soldiers  and  their  families.  I  saw  them 
land,  and  to  me  they  presented  a  state  of 
wretchedness  and  misery  unequaled.  Not  one 
individual  among  them  possessed  a  iacket  or 
pantaloons,  but.  naked,  and  like  the  savage  In- 
dians, they  concealed   their   nudity  with   dirty, 


Ill) 


HISTORICAL   AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


miserable  blankets.  The  females  were  not  much 
better  off,  for  the  scantiness  of  their  mean  ap- 
parel was  too  apparent  for  modest  observers. 
They  appeared  like  convicts,  and,  indeed,  the 
greater  portion  of  them  had  been  charged  with 
crime,  either  of  murder  or  theft." 

Micheltorena  drilled  his  Falstaffian  army  at 
San  Diego  for  several  weeks  and  then  began  his 
march  northward;  Los  Angeles  made  great 
preparations  to  receive  the  new  governor.  Seven 
years  had  passed  since  she  had  been  decreed  the 
capital  of  the  territory,  and  in  all  these  years 
she  had  been  denied  her  rights  by  Monterey. 
A  favorable  impression  on  the  new  governor 
might  induce  him  to  make  the  ciudad  his  capital. 
The  national  fiesta  of  September  16  was  post- 
poned until  the  arrival  of  the  governor.  The 
best  house  in  the  town  was  secured  for  him 
and  his  staff.  A  grand  ball  was  projected 
and  the  city  illuminated  the  night  of  his  arrival. 
A  camp  was  established  down  by  the  river  and 
the  cholos,  who  in  the  meantime  had  been  given 
white  linen  uniforms,  were  put  through  the  drill 
and  the  manual  of  arms.  They  were  incorrigible 
thieves,  and  stole  for  the  very  pleasure  of  steal- 
ing. They  robbed  the  hen  roosts,  the  orchards, 
the  vineyards  and  the  vegetable  gardens  of  the 
citizens.  To  the  Angeleiios  the  glory  of  their 
city  as  the  capital  of  the  territory  faded  in  the 
presence  of  their  empty  chicken  coops  and 
plundered  orchards.  They  longed  to  speed  the 
departure  of  their  now  unwelcome  guests.  After 
a  stay  of  a  month  in  the  city  Micheltorena  and 
his  army  took  up  their  line  of  march  northward. 
He  reached  a  point  about  twenty  miles  north 
of  San  Fernando,  when,  on  the  night  of  the 
24th  of  October,  a  messenger  aroused  him  from 
his  slumbers  witli  the  news  that  the  capital  had 
been  captured  by  the  Americans.  Micheltorena 
seized  the  occasion  to  make  political  capital  for 
himself  with  the  home  government.  He  spent 
the  remainder  of  the  night  in  fulminating  proc- 
lamations against  the  invaders  fiercer  than  the 
thunderbolts  of  Jove,  copies  of  which  were  dis- 
patched post  haste  to  Mexico.  He  even  wished 
himself  a  thunderbolt  "that  he  mighl  fly  over 
intervening  space  and  annihilate  the  invaders." 
Then,  with  his  own  courage  and  doubtless  that 
of  his  brave    cholos    aroused    to    the  highest 


pitch,  instead  of  rushing  on  the  invaders,  he  and 
his  army  •  fled  back  to  San  Fernando,  where, 
afraid  to  advance  or  retreat,  he  halted  until  news 
reached  him  that  Commodore  Jones  had  re- 
stored Monterey  to  the  Californians.  Then  his 
valor  reached  the  boiling  point.  He  boldly 
marched  to  Los  Angeles,  established  his  head- 
quarters in  the  city  and  awaited  the  coming 
of  Commodore  Jones  and  his  officers  from  Mon- 
terey. 

On  the  19th  of  January,  1843,  Commodore 
Jones  and  his  staff  came  to  Los  Angeles  to  meet 
the  governor.  At  the  famous  conference  in 
the  Palacio  de  Don  Abel,  Micheltorena  pre- 
sented his  articles  of  convention.  Among  other 
ridiculous  demands  were  the  following:  "Ar- 
ticle VI.  Thomas  Ap  C.  Jones  will  deliver  fif- 
teen hundred  complete  infantry  uniforms  to  re- 
place those  of  nearly  one-half  of  the  Mexican 
force,  which  have  been  ruined  in  the  violent 
march  and  the  continued  rains  while  they  were 
on  their  way  to  recover  the  port  thus  invaded." 
"Article  VII.  Jones  to  pay  $15,000  into  the 
national  treasury  for  expenses  incurred  from  the 
general  alarm;  also  a  complete  set  of  musical 
instruments  in  place  of  those  ruined  on  this 
occasion."*  Judging  from  Robinson's  descrip- 
tion of  the  dress  of  Micheltorena's  cholos  it  is 
doubtful  whether  there  was  an  entire  uniform 
among  them. 

"The  commodore's  first  impulse,"  writes  a 
member  of  his  staff,  "was  to  return  the  papers 
without  comment  and  to  refuse  further  com- 
munication with  a  man  who  could  have  the  ef- 
frontery to  trump  up  such  charges  as  those  for 
which  indemnification  was  claimed."  The  com- 
modore on  reflection  put  aside  his  personal  feel- 
ings, and  met  the  governor  at  the  grand  ball  in 
Sanchez  hall,  held  in  honor  of  the  occasion. 
The  ball  was  a  brilliant  affair,  "the  dancing 
ceased  only  with  the  rising  of  the  sun  next 
morning."  The  commodore  returned  the  articles 
without  his  signature.  The  governor  did  not 
again  refer  to  his  demands.  Next  morning, 
January  21,  1843,  Jones  and  his  officers  took 
their  departure  from  the  city  "amidst  the  beat- 
ing of  drums,  the  firing  of  cannon  and  the  ring- 


jft's  Tli-torv  of  California.  Vol    IV 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


l  i  i 


ing  of  bells,  saluted  by  the  general  and  his  wife 
from  the  door  of  their  quarters.  On  the  31st 
of  December  Micheltorena  had  taken  the  oath 
of  office  in  Sanchez'  hall,  which  stood  on  the 
east  side  of  the  plaza.  Salutes  were  fired,  the 
bells  were  rung  and  the  city  was  illuminated 
for  three  evenings.  For  the  second  time  a  gov- 
ernor had  been  inaugurated  in  Los  Angeles. 

Micheltorena  and  his  cholo  army  remained  in 
Los  Angeles  about  eight  months.  The  An- 
gelenos  had  all  the  capital  they  cared  for.  They 
were  perfectly  willing  to  have  the  governor  and 
his  army  take  up  their  residence  in  Monterey. 
The  cholos  had  devoured  the  country  like  an 
army  of  chapules  (locusts)  and  were  willing  to 
move  on.  Monterey  would  no  doubt  have  gladly 
transferred  what  right  she  had  to  the  capital 
if  at  the  same  time  she  could  have  transferred 
to  her  old  rival,  Los  Angeles,  Micheltorena's 
cholos.  Their  pilfering  was  largely  enforced 
by  their  necessities.  They  received  little  or  no 
pay,  and  they  often  had  to  steal  or  starve.  The 
leading  native  Californians  still  entertained  their 
old  dislike  to  "Mexican  dictators"  and  the  ret- 
inue of  three  hundred  chicken  thieves  accom- 
panying the  last  dictator  intensified  their  hatred. 

Micheltorena,  while  not  a  model  governor, 
had  many  good  qualities  and  was  generally  liked 
by  the  better  class  of  foreign  residents.  He 
made  an  earnest  effort  to  establish  a  system  of 
public  education  in  the  territory.  Schools  were 
established  in  all  the  principal  towns,  and  ter- 
ritorial aid  from  the  public  funds  to  the  amount 
of  $500  each  was  given  them.  The  school  at 
Los  Angeles  had  over  one  hundred  pupils  in 
attendance.  His  worst  fault  was  a  disposition 
to  meddle  in  local  affairs.  He  was  unreliable 
and  not  careful  to  keep  his  agreements.  He 
might  have  succeeded  in  giving  California  a 
stable  government  had  it  not  been  for  the  antip- 
athy to  his  soldiers  and  the  old  feud  between 
the  "hijos  del  pais"  and  the  Mexican  dictators. 
These  proved  his  undoing.  The  native  sons 
under  Alvarado  and  Castro  rose  in  rebellion. 
In  November,  1844,  a  revolution  was  inaugu- 
rated at  Santa  Clara.  The  governor  marched 
with  an  army  of  one  hundred  and  fifty  men 
against  the  rebel  forces,  numbering  about  two 
hundred.     They  met  at  a  place  called  the  La- 


guna  de  Alvires.  A  treaty  was  signed  in  which 
Micheltorena  agreed  to  ship  his  cholos  back  to 
Mexico. 

This  treaty  the  governor  deliberately  broke. 
He  then  intrigued  with  Capt.  John  A.  Sutter  of 
New  Helvetia  and  Isaac  Graham  to  obtain  as- 
sistance to  crush  the  rebels.  January  9,  1845, 
Micheltorena  and  Sutter  formed  a  junction  of 
their  forces  at  Salinas — their  united  commands 
numbering  about  five  hundred  men.  They 
marched  against  the  rebels  to  crush  them.  But 
the  rebels  did  not  wait  to  be  crushed.  Alvarado 
and  Castro,  with  about  ninety  men,  started  for 
Los  Angeles,  and  those  left  behind  scattered 
to  their  homes.  Alvarado  and  his  men  reached 
Los  Angeles  on  the  night  of  January  20,  1845. 
The  garrison  stationed  at  the  curate's  house 
was  surprised  and  captured.  One  man  was 
killed  and  several  wounded.  Lieutenant  Me- 
dina, of  Micheltorena's  army,  was  the  com- 
mander of  the  pueblo  troops.  Alvarado's  army 
encamped  on  the  plaza  and  he  and  Castro  set 
to  work  to  revolutionize  the  old  pueblo.  The 
leading  Angelenos  had  no  great  love  for  Juan 
Ilautista,  and  did  not  readily  fall  into  his 
schemes.  They  had  not  forgotten  their  en- 
forced detention  in  Vallejo's  bastile  during  the 
Civil  war.  An  extraordinary  session  of  the 
ayuntamiento  was  called  January  21.  Alvarado 
and  Castro  were  present  and  made  eloquent  ap- 
peals. The  records  say:  "The  ayuntamiento 
listened,  and  after  a  short  interval  of  silence  and 
meditation  decided  to  notify  the  senior  member 
of  the  department  assembly  of  Don  Alvarado 
and  Castros'  wishes." 

They  were  more  successful  with  the  Pico 
brothers.  Pio  Pico  was  senior  vocal,  and  in 
case  Micheltorena  was  disposed  he,  by  virtue  of 
his  office,  would  become  governor.  Through 
the  influence  of  the  Picos  the  revolution  gained 
ground.  The  most  potent  influence  in  spread- 
ing the  revolt  was  the  fear  of  Micheltorena's 
army  of  chicken  thieves.  Should  the  town  be 
captured  by  them  it  certainly  would  be  '-■ 
The  department  assembly  was  called  together. 
A  peace  commission  was  sent  to  meet  Michel- 
torena. who  was  leisurely  marching  southward, 
and  intercede  with  him  to  give  up  his  prO| 
invasion   of  the  smith.     He  refused.     Then  the 


Ill 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


assembly  pronounced  him  a  traitor,  deposed 
him  by  vote  and  appointed  Pio  Pico  governor. 
Recruiting  went  on  rapidly.  Hundreds  of  sad- 
dle horses  were  contributed,  "old  rusty  guns 
were  repaired,  hacked  swords  sharpened,  rude 
lances  manufactured"  and  cartridges  made  for 
the  cannon.  Some  fifty  foreigners  of  the  south 
joined  Alvarado's  army;  not  that  they  had 
much  interest  in  the  revolution,  but  to  protect 
their  property  against  the  rapacious  invaders — 
the  cholos — and  Sutter's  Indians,*  who  were  as 
much  dreaded  as  the  cholos.  On  the  19th  of 
February,  Micheltorena  reached  the  Encinos, 
and  the  Angelenian  army  marched  out  through 
( 'almenga  Pass  to  meet  him.  On  the  20th  the 
two  armies  met  on  the  southern  edge  of  the 
San  Fernando  valley,  about  fifteen  miles  from 
Los  Angeles.  Each  army  numbered  about  four 
hundred  men.  Micheltorena  had  three  pieces 
of  artillery  and  Castro  two.  They  opened  on 
each  other  at  long  range  and  seem  to  have 
fought  the  battle  throughout  at  very  long  range. 
A  mustang  or  a  mule  (authorities  differ)  was 
killed. 

Wilson,  Workman  and  McKinley  of  Castro's 
army  decided  to  induce  the  Americans  on  the 
other  side,  many  of  whom  were  their  personal 
friends,  to  abandon  Micheltorena.  Passing  up 
a  ravine,  they  succeeded  in  attracting  the  atten- 
tion of  some  of  them  by  means  of  a  white  flag. 
( ianttj  Hensley  and  Bidwell  joined  them  in  the 
ravine.  The  situation  was  discussed  and  the 
Americans  of  Micheltorena's  army  agreed  to 
desert  him  if  Pico  would  protect  them  in  their 
land  grants.  Wilson,  in  his  account  of  the  bat- 
tle, says:f  "I  knew,  and  so  did  Pico,  that  these 
land  questions  were  the  point  with  those  young 
Americans.  Before  I  started  on  my  journey  or 
embassy,  Pico  was  sent  for;  on  his  arrival 
among  us  I,  in  a  few  words,  explained  to  him 
what  the  party  had  advanced.  'Gentlemen.'  said 
he,  'are  any  of  you  citizens  of  Mexico?"  They 
answered  'No.'  'Then  your  title  deeds  given 
you  by   Micheltorena  are   not   worth   the   paper 


*Sutter  had  under  his  command  ;i  company  of  In- 
dians, lie  had  drilled  these  in  the  use  of  firearms. 
Mi.'  employing  of  these  savages  by  Micheltorena  was 
I'it'rrly    resented    liy    tin-    Californians. 

tPtih  Historical  Society  of  Southern  California. 
Vol.  III. 


they  are  written  on,  and  he  knew  it  well  when 
he  gave  them  to  you;  but  if  you  wiil  abandon 
his  cause  I  will  give  you  my  word  of  honor  as 
a  gentleman,  and  Don  Benito  Wilson  and  Don 
Juan  Workman  to  carry  out  what  I  promise, 
that  I  will  protect  each  one  of  you  in  the  land 
that  you  now  hold,  and  when  you  become  citi- 
zens of  Mexico  I  will  issue  you  the  proper  ti- 
tles.' They  said  that  was  all  they  asked,  and 
promised  not  to  fire  a  gun  against  us.  They  also 
asked  not  to  be  required  to  fight  on  our  side, 
which  was  agreed  to. 

"Micheltorena  discovered  (how,  I  do  not  know) 
that  his  Americans  had  abandoned  him.  About 
an  hour  afterwards  he  raised  his  camp  and 
Hanked  us  by  going  further  into  the  valley  to- 
wards San  Fernando,  then  marching  as  though 
lie  intended  to  come  around  the  bend  of  the 
river  to  the  city.  The  Californians  and  we  for- 
eigners at  once  broke  up  our  camp  and  came 
back  through  the  Cahuenga  Pass,  marched 
through  the  gap  into  the  Feliz  ranch,  on  the 
Los  Angeles  River,  till  we  came  into  close 
proximity  to  Micheltorena's  camp.  It  was  now 
night,  as  it  was  dark  when  we  broke  up  our 
camp.  Here  we  waited  for  daylight,  and  some 
of  our  men  commenced  maneuvering  for  a  fight 
with  the  enemy.  A  few  cannon  shots  were 
fired,  when  a  white  flag  was  discovered  flying 
from  Micheltorena's  front.  The  whole  matter 
then  went  into  the  hands  of  negotiators  ap- 
pointed by  both  parties  and  the  terms  of  sur- 
render were  agreed  upon,  one  of  which  was  that 
Micheltorena  and  his  obnoxious  officers  and 
men  were  to  march  back  up  the  river  to  the 
Cahuenga  Pass,  then  down  on  the  plain  to  the 
west  of  Los  Angeles,  the  most  direct  line  to 
San  Pedro,  and  embark  at  that  point  on  a  vessel 
then  anchored  there  to  carry  them  back  to  Mex- 
ico." Sutter  was  taken  prisoner,  and  his  Indians, 
after  being  corralled  for  a  time,  were  sent  back 
to  the  Sacramento. 

The  roar  of  the  battle  of  Cahuenga,  or  the 
Alamo,  as  it  is  sometimes  called,  could  be  dis- 
tinctly heard  in  Los  Angeles,  and  the  people 
remaining  in  the  city  were  greatly  alarmed. 
William  Heath  Davis,  in  his  Sixty  Years  in  Cal- 
ifornia, thus  describes  the  alarm  in  the  town; 
"Directly  to  the  north  of  the  town  was  a  high 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL    RECORD. 


L13 


hill"  (now  known  as  Mt.  Lookout).  "As  soon 
as  firing  was  heard  all  the  people  remaining  in 
the  town,  men,  women  and  children,  ran  to  the 
top  of  this  hill.  As  the  wind  was  blowing  from 
the  north,  the  firing  was  distinctly  heard,  five 
leagues  away,  on  the  battle-field  throughout  the 
day.  All  business  places  in  town  were  closed. 
The  scene  on  the  hill  was  a  remarkable  one, 
women  and  children,  with  crosses  in  their  hands, 
kneeling  and  praying  to  the  saints  for  the  safety 
of  their  fathers,  brothers,  sons,  husbands,  lovers, 
cousins,  that  they  might  not  be  killed  in  the  bat- 
tle; indifferent  to  their  personal  appearance, 
tears  streaming  from  their  eyes,  and  their  hair 
blown  about  by  the  wind,  which  had  increased 
to  quite  a  breeze.  Don  Abel  Stearns,  myself  and 
others  tried  to  calm  and  pacify  them,  assuring 
them  that  there  was  probably  no  danger;  some- 
what against  our  convictions,  it  is  true,  judg- 
ing from  what  we  heard  of  the  firing  and  from 
our  knowledge  of  Micheltorena's  disciplined 
force,  his  battery,  and  the  riflemen  he  had  with 
him.  During  the  day  the  scene  on  the  hill  con- 
tinued. The  night  that  followed  was  a  gloomy 
one,  caused  by  the  lamentations  of  the  women 
and  children." 

Davis,  who  was  supercargo  on  the  Don 
Quixote,  the  vessel  on  which  Micheltorena  and 
his  soldiers  were  shipped  to  Mexico,  claims  that 
the  general  "had  ordered  his  command  not  to 
injure  the  Californians  in  the  force  opposed  to 
him,  but  to  fire  over  their  heads,  as  he  had  no 
desire  to  kill  them." 

Another  Mexican-born  governor  had  been 
deposed  and  deported,  gone  to  join  his  fellows. 
Victoria,  Chico  and  Gutierrez.  In  accordance 
with  the  treaty  of  Cahuenga  and  by  virtue  of 
his  rank  as  senior  member  of  the  departmental 
assembly,  Pio  Pico  became  governor.  The  hijos 
del  pais  were  once  more  in  the  ascendency. 
Jose  Castro  was  made  comandante-general.  Al- 
varado  was  given  charge  of  the  custom  house  at 
Monterey,  and  Jose  Antonio  Carrillo  was  ap- 
pointed commander  of  the  military  district  of 
the  south.  Los  Angeles  was  made  the  capital, 
although  the  archives  and  the  treasurv  remained 
in  Monterey.  The  revolution  apparently  had 
been  a  success.  In  the  proceedings  of  the  Los 
Angeles  ayuntamiento,  March  i.   1845,  appears 


this  record:  "The  agreements  entered  into  at 
Cahuenga  between  Gen.  Emanuel  Michel- 
torena and  Lieut.-Col.  Jose  Castro  were  then 
read,  and  as  they  contain  a  happy  termination  of 
affairs  in  favor  of  the  government,  this  Illustri- 
ous Body  listened  with  satisfaction  and  so  an- 
swered the  communication." 

The  people  joined  with  the  ayuntamiento  in 
expressing  their  "satisfaction"  that  a  "happy 
termination"  had  been  reached  of  the  political 
disturbances  which  had  distracted  the  country. 
But  the  end  was  not  yet.  Pico  did  his  best  to 
conciliate  the  conflicting  elements,  but  the  old 
sectional  jealousies  that  had  divided  the  people 
of  the  territory  would  crop  out.  Jose  Antonio 
Carrillo,  the  Machiaveli  of  the  south,  hated  Cas- 
tro and  Alvarado  and  was  jealous  of  Pico's  good 
fortune.  He  was  the  superior  of  any  of  them 
in  ability,  but  made  himself  unpopular  by  his 
intrigues  and  his  sarcastic  speech.  When  Cas- 
tro and  Alvarado  can  raise  the  stand- 
ard of  revolt  they  tried  to  win  him  over.  He 
did  assist  them.  He  was  willing  enough  to  plot 
against  Micheltorena,  but  after  the  overthrow 
of  the  Mexican  he  was  equally  ready  to  plot 
against  Pico  and  Castro.  In  the  summer  of 
1845  ne  was  implicated  in  a  plot  to  depose  Pico, 
who,  by  the  way,  was  his  brother-in-law.  Pico 
piaced  him  and  two  of  his  fellow  conspirators, 
Serbulo  and  Hilario  Yarela,  under  arrest.  Car- 
rillo and  Hilario  Yarela  were  shipped  to  Mazal- 
Ian  to  be  tried  for  their  misdeed.  Serbulo  Ya- 
rela made  his  escape  from  prison.  The  two 
exiles  returned  early  in  1846  unpunished  and 
ready  for  new  pli  its. 

Pico  was  appointed  gobernador  proprietario, 
or  constitutional  governor  <>f  California,  Sep- 
tember 3,  1845,  by  President  Herrera.  The  su- 
preme government  of  Mexico  never  seemed  to 
lake  offense  or  harbor  resentment  against  the 
Californians  for  deposing  and  -ending  home  a 
governor.  As  the  officials  of  the  supreme 
ernment  usually  obtained  office  by  revolution, 
they  no  doubt  had  a  fellow  feeling  fur  the  revolt- 
ing Californians.  When  Micheltorena  returned 
to  Mexico  he  was  coldly  received  and  a  com- 
missioner was  sent  to  Pico  with  dispatches  vir- 
tually approving  all  that  had  been  done. 

Castro,  too,  gave  Pico  a  great  deal  of  uneasi- 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


ness.  He  ignored  the  governor  and  managed 
the  military  affairs  of  the  territory  to  suit  him- 
self. His  headquarters  were  at  Monterey  and 
doubtless  he  had  the  sympathy  if  not  the  en- 
couragement of  the  people  of  the  north  in  his 
course.  But  the  cause  of  the  greatest  uneasi- 
ness was  the  increasing  immigration  from  the 
United  States.  A  stream  of  emigrants  from  the 
western  states,  increasing  each  year,  poured 
down  the  Sierra  Nevadas  and  spread  over  the 
rich  valleys  of  California.  The  Californians  rec- 
ognized that  through  the  advent  of  these  "for- 
eign adventurers,"as  they  called  them, the  "man- 
ifest destiny"of  California  was  to  be  absorbed  by 
the  United  States.  Alvarado  had  appealed  to 
Mexico  for  men  and  arms  and  had  been  an- 
swered by  the  arrival  of  Micheltorena  and  his 
cholos.  Pico  appealed  and  for  a  time  the  Cali- 
fornians  were  cheered  by  the  prospect  of  aid. 


In  the  summer  of  1845  a  f°rce  °*  s'x  hundred 
veteran  soldiers,  under  command  of  Colonel 
Iniestra,  reached  Acapulco,  where  ships  were  ly- 
ing to  take  them  to  California,  but  a  revolution 
broke  out  in  Mexico  and  the  troops  destined  for 
the  defense  of  California  were  used  to  overthrow- 
President  Hcrrera  and  to  seat  Paredes.  Cali- 
fornia was  left  to  work  out  her  own  destiny 
unaided  or  drift  with  the  tide — and  she  drifted. 
In  the  early  months  of  1846  there  was  a  rapid 
succession  of  important  events  in  her  history, 
each  in  passing  bearing  her  near  and  nearer  to 
a  manifest  destiny — the  downfall  of  Mexican 
domination  in  California.  These  will  be  pre- 
sented fully  in  the  chapter  on  the  Acquisition  of 
California  by  the  United  States.  But  before 
taking  up  these  we  will  turn  aside  to  review  life 
in  California  in  the  olden  time  under  Spanish 
and  Mexican  rule. 


CHAPTER   XV. 

MUNICIPAL    GOVERNMENT— HOMES    AND    HOME-LIFE    OF 
THE    CALIFORNIANS. 


UNDER  Spain  the  government  of  Califor- 
nia was  semi-military  and  semi-clerical. 
The  governors  were  military  officers  and 
had  command  of  the  troops  in  the  territory,  and 
looked  after  affairs  at  the  pueblos;  the  friars 
were  supreme  at  the  missions.  The  municipal 
government  of  the  pueblos  was  vested  in  ayun- 
tamientos.  The  decree  of  the  Spanish  Cortes 
passed  May  23,  1S12,  regulated  the  membership 
of  the  ayuntamiento  according  to  the  popula- 
tion of  the  town — "there  shall  be  one  alcalde 
(mayor),  two  regidores  (councilmen),  ami  one 
procurador-syndico  (treasurer)  in  all  towns 
which  do  not  have  more  than  two  hundred  in- 
habitants; one  alcalde,  four  regidores  and  one 
syndico  in  those  the  population  of  which  ex- 
ceeds two  hundred,  but  does  no.1  exceed  five 
hundred."  When  the  population  of  a  town  ex- 
ceeded one  thousand  it  was  allowed  two  al- 
caldes, eighl  regidores  and  two  syndicos.  Over 
the  members  of  the  a\  untamiento  in  the  early 
years  of  Spanish  rule  was  a  quasi-military  offi- 


cer called  a  comisionado,  a  sort  of  petty  dictator 
or  military  despot,  who,  when  occasion  required 
or  inclination  moved  him,  embodied  within  him- 
self all  three  departments  of  government,  judi- 
ciary, legislative  and  executive.  After  Mexico 
became  a  republic  the  office  of  comisionado  was 
abolished.  The  alcalde  acted  as  president  of 
the  ayuntamiento,  as  mayor  and  as  judge  of 
the  court  of  first  instance.  The  second  alcalde 
took  his  place  when  that  officer  was  ill  or  ab- 
sent. The  syndico  was  a  general  utility  man. 
lie  acted  as  city  or  town  attorney,  tax  collector 
and  treasurer.  The  secretary  was  an  important 
officer;  lie  kept  the  records,  acted  as  clerk  of 
the  alcalde's  court  and  was  the  only  municipal 
officer  who  received  pay.  except  the  syndico, 
who  received  a  commission  on  his  collections. 

In  1837  the  Mexican  Congress  passed  a  decree 
abolishing  ayuntamientos  in  capitals  of  depart- 
ments having  a  population  of  less  than  four 
thousand  and  in  interior  towns  of  less  than 
eight    thousand.      In    1839   Governor   Alvarado 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


HE 


reported  to  the  Departmental  Assembly  that  no 
town  in  California  had  the  requisite  population. 
The  ayuntamientos  all  closed  January  i,  1840. 
They  were  re-established  in  1844.  During  their 
abolition  the  towns  were  governed  by  prefects 
and  justices  of  the  peace,  and  the  special  laws 
or  ordinances  were  enacted  by  the  departmental 
assembly. 

The  jurisdiction  of  the  ayuntamiento  often 
extended  over  a  large  area  of  country  beyond 
the  town  limits.  That  of  Los  Angeles,  after  the 
secularization  of  the  missions,  extended  over  a 
country  as  large  as  the  state  of  Massachusetts. 
The  authority  of  the  ayuntamiento  was  as  ex- 
tensive as  its  jurisdiction.  It  granted  town  lots 
and  recommended  to  the  governor  grants  of 
land  from  the  public  domain.  In  addition  to 
passing  ordinances  its  members  sometimes 
acted  as  executive  officers  to  enforce  them.  It 
exercised  the  powers  of  a  board  of  health,  a 
board  of  education,  a  police  commission  and  a 
street  department.  During  the  civil  war  be- 
tween Northern  and  Southern  California,  in 
1837-38,  the  ayuntamiento  of  Los  Angeles 
raised  and  equipped  an  army  and  assumed  the 
right  to  govern  the  southern  half  of  the  terri- 
tory. 

The  ayuntamiento  was  spoken  of  as  Muy 
Ilustre  (Most  Illustrious),  in  the  same  sense 
that  we  speak  of  the  honorable  city  council,  but 
it  was  a  much  more  dignified  body  than  a  city 
council.  The  members  were  required  to  attend 
their  public  functions  "attired  in  black  apparel. 
so  as  to  add  solemnity  to  the  meetings."  They 
served  without  pay,  but  if  a  member  was  absent 
frOm  a  meeting  without  a  good  excuse  he  was 
liable  to  a  fine.  As  there  was  no  pay  in  the  office 
and  its  duties  were  numerous  and  onerous,  there 
was  not  a  large  crop  of  aspirants  for  council- 
men  in  those  days,  and  the  office  usually  sought 
the  man.  It  might  be  added  that  when  it  caught 
the  right  man  it  was  loath  to  let  go  of  him. 

The  misfortunes  that  beset  Francisco  Pantoja 
aptly  illustrate  the  difficulty  of  resigning  in  the 
days  when  office  sought  the  man,  not  man  the 
office.  Pantoja  was  elected  fourth  regidor  of 
the  ayuntamiento  of  Los  Angeles  in  1837.  In 
those  days  wild  horses  were  very  numerous. 
When  the  pasture  in  tin1  foothills  was  exhausted 


they  came  down  into  the  valleys  and  ate  up 
the  feed  needed  for  the  cattle.  Un  this  account, 
and  because  most  of  these  wild  horses  were 
worthless,  the  rancheros  slaughtered  them.  A 
corral  was  built  with  wings  extending  out  on 
the  right  and  left  from  the  main  entrance.  When 
the  corral  was  completed  a  day  was  set  for  a 
wild  horse  drive.  The  bauds  were  rounded  up 
and  driven  into  the  corral.  The  pick  of  the 
caballados  were  lassoed  and  taken  out  to  be 
broken  to  the  saddle  and  the  refuse  of  the  drive 
killed.  The  Vejars  had  obtained  permission 
from  the  ayuntamiento  to  build  a  corral  between 
the  Ceritos  and  the  Salinas  for  the  purpose  of 
corralling  wild  horses.  Pantoja,  being  some- 
thing of  a  sport,  petitioned  his  fellow  regidores 
for  a  twenty  days'  leave  of  absence  to  join  in 
the  wild  horse  chase.  A  wild  horse  chase  was 
wild  sport  and  dangerous,  too.  Somebody  was 
sure  to  get  hurt,  and  Pantoja  in  this  one  was 
one  of  the  unfortunates.  When  his  twenty  days' 
leave  of  absence  was  up  he  did  not  return  to 
his  duties  of  regidor.  but  instead  sent  his  res- 
ignation on  plea  of  illness.  His  resignation  was 
not  accepted  and  the  president  of  the  ayunta- 
miento appointed  a  committee  to  investigate 
his  physical  condition.  There  were  no  physi- 
cians in  Los  Angeles  in  those  days,  so  the  com- 
mittee took  along  Santiago  McKinley,  a  canny 
Scotch  merchant,  who  was  repined  to  have  some 
knowledge  of  surgery.  The  committee  and  the 
improvised  surgeon  held  an  ante-mortem  in- 
quest on  what  remained  of  Pantoja.  The  com- 
mittee reported  to  the  council  that  he  was  a 
physical  wreck;  that  he  could  not  mount  a 
horse  nor  ride  one  when  mounted.  A  native 
California!!  who  had  reached  such  a  state  of 
physical  dilapidation  that  he  could  not  mount 
a  horse  might  well  be  excused  from  official  du- 
ties. To  excuse  him  might  establish  a  danger- 
ous precedent.  The  ayuntamiento  heard  the 
report,  pondered  over  it  and  then  sent  it  and 
the  resignation  to  the  governor.  The  governor 
took  them  under  advisement.  In  the  meantime 
a  revolution  broke  out  and  before  p 
stored  and  the  governor  had  time  to  pass  upon 
the  case  Pantoja's  term  had  expired  by  limita- 
tion. 

That    modern    fad  dslation,   the 


11(5 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


referendum,  was  in  full  force  and  effect  in  Cali- 
fornia three-quarters  of  a  century  ago.  When 
some  question  of  great  importance  to  the  com- 
munity was  before  the  ayuntamiento  and  the 
regidores  were  divided  in  opinion,  the  alarma 
publica  or  public  alarm  was  sounded  by  the 
beating  of  the  long  roll  on  the  drum  and  all  the 
citizens  were  summoned  to  the  hall  of  sessions. 
Any  one  hearing  the  alarm  and  not  heed- 
ing it  was  fined  $3.  When  the  citizens  were  con- 
vened the  president  of  the  ayuntamiento,  speak- 
ing in  a  loud  voice,  stated  the  question  and  the 
people  were  given  "public  speech."  The  ques- 
tion was  debated  by  all  who  wished  to  speak. 
When  all  had  had  their  say  it  was  decided  by  a 
show  of  hands. 

The  ayuntamientos  regulated  the  social  func- 
tions of  the  pueblos  as  well  as  the  civic.  Ordi- 
nance 5,  ayuntamiento  proceedings  of  Los 
Angeles,  reads:  "All  individuals  serenading  pro- 
miscuously around  the  street  of  the  city  at  night 
without  first  having  obtained  permission  from 
the  alcalde  will  be  fined  $1.50  for  the  first  of- 
fense, $3  for  the  second  offense,  and  for  the 
third  punished  according  to  law."  Ordinance  4, 
adopted  by  the  ayuntamiento  of  Los  Angeles, 
January  28,  1838,  reads:  "Every  person  not 
having  any  apparent  occupation  in  this  city  or 
its  jurisdiction  is  hereby  ordered  to  look  for 
work  within  three  days,  counting  from  the  day 
this  ordinance  is  published;  if  not  complied 
with,  lie  will  be  fined  $2  for  the  first  offense,  $4 
for  the  second  offense,  and  will  be  given  com- 
pulsory work  for  the  third."  From  the  reading 
of  the  ordinance  it  would  seem  if  the  tramp 
kept  looking  for  work,  but  was  careful  not  to 
find  it,  there  could  be  no  offense  and  conse- 
quently  no  fines  or  compulsory  work. 

Some  of  the  enactments  of  the  old  regidores 
would  fade  the  azure  out  of  the  blue  laws  of 
Connecticut  in  severity.  In  the  plan  of  gov- 
ernment adopted  by  the  surefios  in  the  rebellion 
of  1837  appears  this  article:  "Article  3,  The 
Roman  Catholic  Apostolic  religion  shall  pre- 
vail throughout  this  jurisdiction:  and  any  per- 
son professing  publicly  any  other  religion  shall 
be  prosecuted." 

Here  is  a  blue  law  of  Monterey,  enacted 
March  23,  1816:   "All  persons  must  attend  mass 


and  respond  in  a  loud  voice,  and  if  any  persons 
should  fail  to  do  so  without  good  cause  they 
will  be  put  in  the  stocks  for  three  hours." 

The  architecture  of  the  Spanish  and  Mexican 
eras  of  California  was  homely  almost  to  ugliness. 
There  was  no  external  ornamentation  to  the 
dwellings  and  no  internal  conveniences.  There 
was  but  little  attempt  at  variety  and  the  houses 
were  mostly  of  one  style,  square  walled,  tile  cov- 
ered, or  flat  roofed  with  pitch,  and  usually  but 
one  story  high.  Some  of  the  mission  churches 
were  massive,  grand  and  ornamental,  while 
others  were  devoid  of  beauty  and  travesties  on 
the  rules  of  architecture.  Every  man  was  his 
own  architect  and  master  builder.  He  had  no 
choice  of  material,  or,  rather,  with  his  ease- 
loving  disposition,  he  chose  to  use  that  which 
was  most  convenient,  and  that  was  adobe  clay, 
made  into  sun-dried  brick.  The  Indian  was  the 
brick  maker,  and  he  toiled  for  his  taskmasters, 
like  the  Hebrew  of  old  for  the  Egyptian,  making 
bricks  without  straw  and  without  pay.  There 
were  no  labor  strikes  in  the  building  trades  then. 
The  Indian  was  the  builder,  and  he  did  not 
know  how  to  strike  for  higher  wages,  because 
he  received  no  wages,  high  or  low.  The  adobe 
bricks  were  moulded  into  form  and  set  up  to 
dry.  Through  the  long  summer  days  they 
baked  in  the  hot  sun,  first  on  one  side,  then  on 
the  other;  and  when  dried  through  they  were 
laid  in  the  wall  with  mud  mortar.  Then  the 
walls  had  to  dry  and  dry  perhaps  through  an- 
other summer  before  the  house  was  habitable. 
Time  was  the  essense  of  building  contracts  then. 

There  was  but  little  wood  used  in  house  con- 
struction then.  It  was  only  the  aristocrats  who 
could  indulge  in  the  luxury  of  wooden  floors. 
Most  of  the  houses  had  floors  of  the  beaten 
earth.  Such  floors  were  cheap  and  durable. 
Gilroy  says,  when  he  came  to  Monterey  in  1814, 
only  the  governor's  house  had  a  wooden  floor. 
A  door  of  rawhide  shut  out  intruders  and 
wooden-barred  windows  admitted  sunshine  and 
air. 

The  legendry  of  the  hearthstone  and  the  fire- 
side which  fills  so  large  a  place  in  the  home  life 
and  literature  of  the  Anglo-Saxon  had  no  part 
in  the  domestic  system  of  the  old-time  Califor- 
nian.     He  had  no  hearthstone  and  no  fireside, 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


117 


nor  could  that  pleasing  fiction  of  Santa  Claus 
coming  down  the  chimney  with  toys  on  Christ- 
mas eve  that  so  delights  the  children  of  to-day 
have  been  understood  by  the  youthful  Califor- 
nian  of  long  ago.  There  were  no  chimneys  in 
California.  The  only  means  of  warming  the 
houses  by  artificial  heat  was  a  pan  (or  braseroj 
of  coals  set  on  the  floor.  The  people  lived  out 
of  doors  in  the  open  air  and  invigorating  sun- 
shine; and  they  were  health)-  and  long-lived. 
Their  houses  were  places  to  sleep  in  or  shelters 
from  rain. 

The  furniture  was  meager  and  mostly  home- 
made. A  few  benches  or  rawhide-bottomed 
chairs  to  sit  on;  a  rough  table;  a  chest  or  two 
to  keep  the  family  finery  in ;  a  few  cheap  prints 
of  saints  on  the  walls — these  formed  the  furnish- 
ings and  the  decorations  of  the  living  rooms  of 
the  common  people.  The  bed  was  the  pride  and 
the  ambition  of  the  housewife.  Even  in  humble 
dwellings,  sometimes,  a  snowy  counterpane  and 
lace-trimmed  pillows  decorated  a  couch  whose 
base  was  a  dried  bullock's  hide  stretched  on  a 
rough  frame  of  wood.  A  shrine  dedicated  to  the 
patron  saint  of  the  household  was  a  very  essen- 
tial part  of  a  well-regulated  home. 

Fashions  in  dress  did  not  change  with  the  sea- 
sons. A  man  could  wear  his  grandfather's  hat 
and  his  coat,  too,  and  not  be  out  of  the  fashion. 
Robinson,  writing  of  California  in  1829.  says: 
"The  people  were  still  adhering  to  the  costumes 
of  the  past  century."  It  was  not  until  after  1834, 
when  the  Hijar  colonists  brought  the  latest  fash- 
ions from  the  City  of  Mexico,  that  the  style  of 
dress  for  men  and  women  began  to  change.  The 
next  change  took  place  after  the  American  con- 
quest. Only  two  changes  in  half  a  century,  a 
garment  had  to  be  very  durable  to  become  un- 
fashionable. 

The  few  wealthy  people  in  the  territory 
dressed  well,  even  extravagantly.  Robinson  de- 
scribes the  dress  of  Tomas  Yorba,  a  wealthy 
ranchero  of  the  Upper  Santa  Ana,  as  he  saw 
him  in  1829:  "Upon  his  head  he  wore  a  black 
silk  handkerchief,  the  four  corners  of  which 
hung  down  his  neck  behind.  An  embroidered 
shirt;  a  cravat  of  white  jaconet,  tastefully  tied; 
a  blue  damask  vest;  short  clothes  of  crimson 
velvet;    a  bright  green  cloth  jacket,  with  large 


silver  buttons,  and  shoes  of  embroidered  deer- 
skin  composed  Ins  dress.  I  was  afterwards  in- 
formed by  Don  Manuel  (Dominguez)  that  on 
some  occasions,  such  as  some  particular  feast 
day  or  festival,  his  entire  display  often  exceeded 
in  value  a  thousand  dollars." 

"The  dress  worn  by  the  middle  class  of  fe- 
males is  a  chemise,  with  short  embroidered 
sleeves,  richly  trimmed  with  lace;  a  muslin  pet- 
ticoat, flounced  with  scarlet  and  secured  at  the 
waist  by  a  silk  band  of  the  same  color;  shoes  of 
velvet  or  blue  satin;  a  cotton  reboso  or  scarf; 
pearl  necklace  and  earrings;  with  hair  falling  in 
broad  plaits  down  the  back."*  After  1834  the 
men  generally  adopted  calzoneras  instead  of  the 
knee  breeches  or  short  clothes  of  the  last  cen- 
tury. 

"The  calzoneras  were  pantaloons  with  the  ex- 
terior seam  open  throughout  its  length.  On  the 
upper  edge  was.  a  strip  of  cloth,  red,  blue  or 
black,  in  which  were  buttonholes.  On  the  other 
edge  were  eyelet  holes  for  buttons.  In  some 
cases  the  calzonera  was  sewn  from  hip  to  the 
middle  of  the  thigh ;  in  others,  buttoned.  From 
the  middle  of  the  thigh  downward  the  leg  was 
covered  by  the  bota  or  leggins,  used  by  every 
one,  whatever  his  dress."  The  short  jacket, 
with  silver  or  bronze  buttons,  and  the  silken 
sash  that  served  as  a  connecting  link  between 
the  calzoneras  and  the  jacket,  and  also  supplied 
the  place  of  what  the  Californians  did  not  wear, 
suspenders,  this  constituted  a  picturesque  cos- 
tume, that  continued  in  vogue  until  the  con- 
quest, and  with  many'  of  the  natives  for  years 
after.  "After  1834  the  fashionable  women  of  Cal- 
ifornia exchanged  their  narrow  for  more  flowing 
garments  and  abandoned  the  braided  hair  for 
the  coil  and  the  large  combs  till  then  in  use  for 
smaller  combs. "f 

For  outer  wraps  the  serapa  for  men  and  the 
rebosa  for  women  were  universally  worn.  The 
texture  of  these  marked  the  social  standing  of 
the  wearer.  It  ranged  from  cheap  cotton  and 
coarse  serge  to  the  costliest  silk  and  the  finest 
French  broadcloth.  The  costume  of  the  neo- 
phyte changed  but  once  in  centuries,  and  that 


*Robinson.  Life  in  California. 

tBancroftV  1'a-t-ral  California. 


IIS 


HISTORICAL   AXD    BIOGRAPHICAL   RFXORD. 


was  when  he  divested  himself  of  his  coat  of 
mud  and  smear  of  paint  and  put  on  the  mission 
shirt  and  breech  clout.  Shoes  he  did  not  wear 
and  in  time  his  feet  became  as  hard  as  the  hoofs 
of  an  animal.  The  dress  of  the  mission  women 
consisted  of  a  chemise  and  a  skirt;  the  dress  of 
the  children  was  a  shirt  and  sometimes  even  this 
was  dispensed. 

Filial  obedience  and  respect  for  parental  au- 
thority were  early  impressed  upon  the  minds  of 
the  children.  The  commandment,  "Honor  thy 
father  and  mother,"  was  observed  with  an  ori- 
ental devotion.  A  child  was  never  too  old  or  too 
large  to  be  exempt  from  punishment.  Stephen 
C.  Foster  used  to  relate  an  amusing  story  of  a 
case  ot  parental  dis  :iplining  he  once  saw  at  Los 
Angeles.  An  old  lady,  a  grandmother,  was  be- 
laboring-, with  a  barrel  stave,  her  son,  a  man 
thirty  years  of  age.  The  son  had  done  some- 
thing of  which  the  mother  did  not  approve.  She 
sent  for  him  to  come  over  to  the  maternal  home 
to  receive  his  punishment,  lie  came.  She  took 
him  out  to  the  metaphorical  woodshed,  which, 
in  this  case,  was  the  portico  of  her  house,  where 
she  stood  him  up  and  proceeded  to  administer 
corporal  punishment.  With  the  resounding 
thwacks  of  the  stave,  she  would  exclaim,  "I'll 
leach  you  to  behave  yourself."  "I'll  mend  your 
manners,  sir."  "Now  you'll  be  good,  won't 
you?"  The  big  man  took  his  punishment  with- 
out a  thought  of  resisting  or  rebelling.  In  fact, 
he  seemed  to  enjoy  it.  It  brought  back  feel- 
ingly and  forcibly  a  memory  of  his  boyhood 
days. 

In  the  earlier  years  of  the  republic,  before 
revolutionarj  ideas  had  perverted  the  usages  of 
the  Californians,  great  respect  was  shown  to 
those  in  authority,  and  the  authorities  were 
strict  in  requiring  deference  from  their  constit- 
uents. In  the  Los  Angeles  archives  of  1828  are 
the  records  of  an  impeachment  trial  of  Don 
Antonio  Maria  Lugo,  held  to  depose  him  from 
tin  office  ^f  judge  of  the  plains.  The  principal 
dut")  of  such  a  judge  was  to  decide  cases  of  dis- 
puted ownership  of  horses  and  cattle.  Lugo 
seems  to  have  had  an  exalted  idea  of  the  dignity 
of  his  office.  Among  the  complaints  presented 
at  the  trial  was  one  from  young  Pedro  Sanchez. 
in  which  he  testified  that   Lugo  had  tried  1"  ride 


Ins  horse  over  him  in  the  street  because  he, 
Sanchez,  would  not  take  off  his  hat  to  the  juez 
del  campo  and  remain  standing  uncovered  while 
the  judge  rode  past.  Another  complainant  at  the 
same  trial  related  how*  at  a  rodeo  Lugo  ad- 
judged a  neighbor's  boy  guilty  of  contempt  of 
court  because  the  boy  gave  him  an  impertinent 
answer,  and  then  he  proceeded  to  give  the  boy 
an  unmerciful  whipping.  So  heinous  was  the 
offense  in  the  estimation  of  the  judge  that  the 
complainant  said,  "had  not  Lugo  fallen  over  a 
chair  he  would  have  been  beating  the  boy  yet." 

Under  Mexican  domination  in  California 
there  was  no  tax  levied  on  land  and  improve- 
ments. The  municipal  funds  of  the  pueblos  were 
obtained  from  revenue  on  wine  and  brandy; 
from  the  licenses  of  saloons  and  other  business 
houses;  from  the  tariff  on  imports;  from  per- 
mits to  give  balls  or  dances;  from  the  fines  of 
transgressors,  and  from  the  tax  on  bull  rings 
and  cock  pits.  Then  men's  pleasures  and  vices 
paid  the  cost  of  governing.  In  the  early  '40s 
the  city  of  Los  Angeles  claimed  a  population  of 
two  thousand,  yet  the  municipal  revenues  rarely 
exceeded  $1,000  a  year.  With  this  small  amount 
the  authorities  ran  a  city  government  and  kept 
out  1  if  debt.  It  did  not  cost  much  to  run  a  city 
government  then.  There  was  no  army  of  high- 
salaried  officials  with  a  horde  of  political  heelers 
quartered  on  the  municipality  and  fed  from  the 
public  crib  at  the  expense  of  the  taxpayer.  Poli- 
ticians may  have  been  no  more  honest  then 
than  now,  but  where  there  was  nothing  to  steal 
there  was  no  stealing.  The  alcaldes  and  regi- 
dores  put  no  temptation  in  the  way  of  the  poli- 
ticians, and  thus  they  kept  them  reasonably 
honest,  or  at  least  they  kept  them  from  plunder- 
ing the  taxpayers  by  the  simple  expedient  of 
having  no  taxpayers. 

The  functions  of  the  various  departments  of 
the  municipal  governments  were  economically 
administered.  Street  cleaning  and  lighting  were 
performed  at  individual  expense  instead  of  pub- 
lic. There  was  an  ordinance  in  force  in  Los 
Angeles  and  Santa  Barbara  and  probably  in 
other  municipalities  that  required  each  owner  of 
a  house  every  Saturday  to  sweep  and  clean  in 
front  of  his  premises  to  the  middle  of  the  street. 
His  neighbor  on  the  opposite  side  met  him  half 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


110 


way,  and  the  street  was  swept  without  expense 
to  the  pueblo.  There  was  another  ordinance 
that  required  eacli  owner  of  a  house  of  more 
that  two  rooms  on  a  main  street  to  hang  a 
lighted  lantern  in  front  of  his  door  from  twilight 
to  eight  o'clock  in  winter  and  to  nine  in  sum- 
mer. There  were  fines  for  neglect  of  these  duties. 
There  was  no  fire  department  in  the  pueblos. 
The  adobe  houses  with  their  clay  walls,  earthen 
floors,  tiled  roofs  and  rawhide  doors  were  as 
nearly  fireproof  as  any  human  habitation  could 
be  made.     The  cooking  was  done  in  detached 


kitchens  and  in  beehive-shaped  ovens  without 
Hues.  The  houses  were  without  chimneys,  so 
the  danger  from  fire  was  reduced  to  a  minimum. 
A  general  conflagration  was  something  un- 
known in  the  old  pueblo  days  of  California 

There  was  no  paid  police  department.  Every 
able-bodied  young  man  was  subject  to  military 
duty.  A  volunteer  guard  or  patrol  was  kept  on 
duty  at  the  cuartels  or  guard  houses.  The 
guards  policed  the  pueblos,  but  they  were  not 
paid.  Each  young  man  had  to  take  his  turn  at 
guard  duty. 


CHAPTER  XVI. 


TERRITORIAL  EXPANSION  BY  CONQUEST. 


THE  Mexican  war  marked  the  beginning 
by  the  United  States  of  territorial  ex- 
pansion by  conquest.  "It  was,"  says 
General  Grant,  "an  instance  of  a  republic  fol- 
lowing the  bad  example  of  European  mon- 
archies in  not  considering  justice  in  their  desire 
to  acquire  additional  territory."  The  "additional 
territory"  was  needed  for  the  creation  of  slave 
states.  The  southern  politicians  of  the  extreme 
pro-slavery  school  saw  in  the  rapid  settlement 
of  the  northwestern  states  the  downfall  of  their 
domination  and  the  doom  of  their  beloved  insti- 
tution, slavery.  Their  peculiar  institution  could 
not  expand  northward  and  on  the  south  it  had 
reached  the  Mexican  boundary.  The  only  way 
of  acquiring  new  territory  for  the  extension  of 
slavery  on  the  south  was  to  take  it  by  force  from 
the  weak  Republic  of  Mexico.  The  annexation 
of  Texas  brought  with  it  a  disputed  boundary 
line.  The  claim  to  a  strip  of  country  between 
the  Rio  Nueces  and  the  Rio  Grande  furnished  a 
convenient  pretext  to  force  Mexico  to  hostili- 
ties. Texas  as  an  independent  state  had  never 
exercised  jurisdiction  over  the  disputed  terri- 
torv.  As  a  state  of  the  LTnion  after  annexation 
she  could  not  rightfully  lay  claim  to  what  she 
never  possessed,  but  the  army  of  occupation 
took  possession  of  it  as  United  States  property, 
and  the  war  was  on.  In  the  end  we  acquired  a 
large  slice  of  Mexican  territory,  but   the  irony 


of  fate  decreed  that  not  an  acre  of  its  soil  should 
be  tilled  by  slave  labor. 

The  causes  that  led  to  the  acquisition  of  Cali- 
fornia antedated  the  annexation  of  Texas  and 
the  invasion  of  Mexico.  After  the  adoption  of 
liberal  colonization  laws  by  the  Mexican  gov- 
ernment in  1824,  there  set  in  a  steady  drift 
of  Americans  to  California.  At  first  they  came 
by  sea,  but  after  the  opening  of  the  overland 
route  in  1841  they  came  in  great  numbers  by 
land.  It  was  a  settled  conviction  in  the  minds 
of  these  adventurous  nomads  that  the  manifest 
destiny  of  California  was  to  become  a  part  of  the 
United  States,  and  they  were  only  too  willing  to 
aid  destiny  when  an  opportunitv  offered.  The 
opportunity  came  and  it  found  them  ready  for  it. 

Capt.  John  C.  Fremont,  an  engineer  and  ex- 
plorer in  the  services  of  the  United  States,  ap- 
peared at  Monterey  in  January,  1846,  and  ap- 
plied to  General  Castro, the  military  comandante, 
for  permission  to  buy  supplies  for  his  party  of 
sixty-two  men  who  were  encamped  in  the  San 
Joaquin  valley,  in  what  is  now  Kern  county. 
Permission  was  given  him.  There  seems  to 
have  been  a  tacit  agreement  between  Castro  and 
Fremont  that  the  exploring  pan-  should  not 
enter  the  settlements,  but  early  in  March  the 
wlnle  force  was  encamped  in  the  Salinas  val- 
lei  Castro  regarded  the  marching  of  a  body 
hi  armed  men  through  the  country  as  an  act  of 


120 


HISTORICAL   AXD   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


hostility,  and  ordered  them  out  of  the  country. 
Instead  of  leaving,  Fremont  intrenched  himself 
on  an  eminence  known  as  Gabilian  Peak  (about 
thirty  miles  from  Monterey),  raised  the  stars 
and  stripes  over  his  barricade,  and  defied  Castro. 
Castro  maneuvered  his  troops  on  the  plain 
below,  but  did  not  attack  Fremont.  After  two 
days'  waiting  Fremont  abandoned  his  position 
ana  began  his  march  northward.  On  Maj  9, 
when  near  the  Oregon  line,  he  was  overtaken 
by  Lieutenant  Gillespie,  of  the  United  States 
navy,  with  a  dispatch  from  the  president.  Gil- 
lespie had  left  the  United  States  in  November, 
1845,  and,  disguised,  had  crossed  Mexico  from 
Vera  Cruz  to  Mazatlan,  and  from  there  had 
reached  Monterey.  The  exact  nature  of  the 
dispatches  to  Fremont  is  not  known,  but  pre- 
sumably they  related  to  the  impending  war  be- 
tween Mexico  and  the  United  States,  and  the 
necessity  for  a  prompt  seizure  of  the  country 
to  prevent  it  from  falling  into  the  hands  of  Eng- 
land. Fremont  returned  to  the  Sacramento, 
where  he  encamped. 

On  the  14th  of  June,  1846,  a  body  of  Amer- 
ican settlers  from  the  Xapa  and  Sacramento 
valleys,  thirty-three  in  number,  of  which  Ide, 
Semple,  Grigsby  and  Merritt  seem  to  have  been 
the  leaders,  after  a  night's  march,  took  posses- 
sion of  the  old  castillo  or  fort  at  Sonoma,  with 
its  rusty  muskets  and  unused  cannon,  and  made 
Gen.  M.  G.  Yallejo,  Lieut.-Col.  Prudon,  Capt. 
Salvador  Yallejo  and  Jacob  P.  Leese,  a  brother- 
in-law  of  the  Yallejos,  prisoners.  There  seems 
to  have  been  no  privates  at  the  castillo,  all  offi- 
cers. Exactly  what  was  the  object  of  the  Amer- 
ican settlers  in  taking  General  Yallejo  prisoner 
is  not  evident.  General  Yallejo  was  one  of  the 
few  eminent  Californians  who  favored  the  an- 
nexation of  California  to  the  United  Stales.  He 
is  said  to  have  made  a  speech  favoring  such  a 
movement  in  the  junta  at  Monterey  a  few 
months  before.  Castro  regarded  him  with  sus- 
picion. The  prisoners  were  sent  under  an 
armed  escort  to  Fremont's  camp.  William  1'.. 
Ide  was  elected  captain  of  the  revolutionists 
who  remained  at  Sonoma,  to  "hold  the  fort." 
ued  a  pronunciamiento  in  which  he  de- 
California  a  free  and  independent  gov- 
ernment, under  the  name  of  the  California   Re- 


public. A  nation  must  have  a  flag  of  its  own, 
so  one  was  improvised.  It  was  made  of  a  piece 
of  cotton  cloth,  or  manta,  a  yard  wide  and  five 
feet  long.  Strips  of  red  flannel  torn  from  the 
shirt  of  one  of  the  men  were  stitched  on  the 
bottom  of  the  flag  for  stripes.  With  a  blacking 
brush,  or,  as  another  authority  says,  the  end 
of  a  chewed  stick  for  a  brush,  and  red  paint, 
William  L.  Todd  painted  the  figure  of  a  grizzly 
bear  passant  on  the  field  of  the  flag.  The  na- 
tives called  Todd's  bear  "cochino,"  a  pig;  it 
resembled  that  animal  more  than  a  bear.  A 
five-pointed  star  in  the  left  upper  corner, 
painted  with  the  same  coloring  matter,  and  the 
words  "California  republic"  printed  on  it  in  ink, 
completed  the  famous  bear  flag. 

The  California  republic  was  ushered  into  ex- 
istence June  14,  1846,  attained  the  acme  of  its 
power  July  4,  when  Ide  and  his  fellow  patriots 
burnt  a  quantity  of  powder  in  salutes,  and  fired 
off  oratorical  pyrotechnics  in  honor  of  the  new 
republic.  It  utterly  collapsed  on  the  9th  of  July, 
after  an  existence  of  twenty-five  days,  when 
news  reached  Sonoma  that  Commodore  Sloat 
had  raised  the  stars  and  stripes  at  Monterey  and 
taken  possession  of  California  in  the  name  of 
the  United  States.  Lieutenant  Revere  arrived 
at  Sonoma  on  the  9th  and  he  it  was  who  low- 
ered the  bear  flag  from  the  Mexican  flagstaff, 
where  it  had  floated  through  the  brief  existence 
of  the  California  republic,  and  raised  in  its  place 
the  banner  of  the  United  States. 

Commodore  Sloat,  who  had  anchored  in 
Monterey  Bay  July  2,  1846,  was  for  a  time  un- 
decided whether  to  take  possession  of  the  coun- 
try. He  had  no  official  information  that  war 
had  been  declared  between  the  United  States 
and  Mexico;  but,  acting  on  the  supposition 
that  Captain  Fremont  had  received  definite  in- 
structions, on  the  7th  of  July  he  raised  the  flag 
and  took  possession  of  the  custom-house  and 
government  buildings  at  Monterey.  Captain 
Montgomery,  on  the  oth,  raised  it  at  San  Fran- 
cisco, and  on  the  same  day  the  bear  flag  gave 
place  to  the  stars  and  stripes  at  Sonoma. 

General  Castro  was  holding  Santa  Clara  and 
San  Jose  when  he  received  Commodore  Sloat's 
proclamation  informing  him  that  the  commo- 
dore had  taken  possession  of    Monterey.     Cas- 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


121 


tro,  after  reading  the  proclamation,  which  was 
written  in  Spanish,  formed  his  men  in  line,  and 
addressing  them,  said:  "Monterey  is  taken  by 
the  Americans.  What  can  I  do  with  a  handful 
of  men  against  the  United  States?  1  am  going 
to  Mexico.  All  of  you  who  wish  to  follow  me, 
'About  face!'  All  that  wish  to  remain  can  go  to 
their  homes."*  A  very  small  part  of  his  force 
followed  him. 

Commodore  Sloat  was  superseded  by  Com- 
modore Stockton,  who  set  about  organizing  an 
expedition  to  subjugate  the  part  of  the  territory 
which  still  remained  loyal  to  Mexico.  Fre- 
mont's exploring  party,  recruited  to  a  battalion 
of  one  hundred  and  twenty  men,  had  marched 
to  Monterey,  and  from  there  was  sent  by  vessel 
to  San  Diego  to  procure  horses  and  prepare  to 
act  as  cavalry. 

While  these  stirring  events  were  transpiring 
in  the  north,  what  was  the  condition  in  the 
south  where  the  capital,  Los  Angeles,  and  the 
bulk  of  the  population  of  the  territory  were 
located?  Pio  Pico  had  entered  upon  the  duties 
of  the  governorship  with  a  desire  to  bring  peace 
and  harmony  to  the  distracted  country.  He  ap- 
pointed Juan  Bandini,  one  of  the  ablest  states- 
men of  the  south,  his  secretary.  After  Bandini 
resigned  he  chose  J.  M.  Covarrubias,  and  later 
Jose  M.  Moreno  filled  the  ofifice. 

The  principal  offices  of  the  territory  had  been 
divided  equally  between  the  politicians  of  the 
north  and  the  south.  While  Los  Angeles  be- 
came the  capital,  and  the  departmental  assembly 
met  there,  the  military  headquarters,  the  ar- 
chives and  the  treasury  remained  at  Monterey. 
But,  notwithstanding  this  division  of  the  spoils 
of  office,  the  old  feud  between  the  arribenos 
and  the  abajenos  would  not  down,  and  soon  the 
old-time  quarrel  was  on  with  all  its  bitterness. 
Castro,  as  military  comandante,  ignored  the 
governor,  and  Alvarado  was  regarded  by  the 
surenos  as  an  emissary  of  Castro's.  The  de- 
partmental assembly  met  at  Los  Angeles,  in 
March,  1846.  Pico  presided,  and  in  his  opening 
message  set  forth  the  unfortunate  condition  of 
affairs  in  the  department.  Education  was  neg- 
lected; justice  was  not  administered;  the  mis- 
ball's  History  of  San  Jose. 


sions  were  so  burdened  by  debt  that  but  few 
of  them  could  be  rented;  the  army  was  disor- 
ganized and  the  treasury  empty. 

Not  even  the  danger  of  war  with  the  Amer- 
icans could  make  the  warring  factions  forget 
their  fratricidal  strife.  Castro's  proclamation 
against  Fremont  was  construed  by  the  surenos 
into  a  scheme  to  inveigle  the  governor  to  the 
north  so  that  the  comandante-general  could  de- 
pose him  and  seize  the  office  for  himself.  Cas- 
tro's preparations  to  resist  by  force  the  en- 
croachments of  the  Americans  were  believed 
by  Pico  and  the  Angelenians  to  be  fitting  out 
of  an  army  to  attack  Los  Angeles  and  over- 
throw the  government. 

On  the  1 6th  of  June,  Pico  left  Los  Angeles 
for  Monterey  with  a  military  force  of  a  hundred 
men.  The  object  of  the  expedition  was  to  op- 
pose, and,  if  possible,  to  depose  Castro.  He 
left  the  capital  under  the  care  of  the  ayunta- 
miento.  On  the  20th  of  June  Alcalde  Gallardo 
reported  to  the  ayuntamiento  that  he  had  posi- 
tive information  "that  Don  Castro  had  left 
Monterey  and  would  arrive  here  in  three  days 
with  a  military  force  for  the  purpose  of  captur- 
ing this  city."  (Castro  had  left  Monterey  with 
a  force  of  seventy  men,  but  he  had  gone  north 
to  San  Jose.)  The  sub-prefect,  Don  Abel 
Stearns,  was  authorized  to  enlist  troops  to  pre- 
serve order.  On  the  23d  of  June  three  compa- 
nies were  organized,  an  artillery  company  under 
Miguel  Tryor,  a  company  of  riflemen  under 
Benito  Wilson,  and  a  cavalry  company  under 
Gorge  Palomares.  Pico  called  for  reinforce- 
ments, but  just  as  he  was  preparing  to  inarch 
against  Monterey  the  news  reached  him  ot  the 
capture  of  Sonoma  by  the  Americans,  and  next 
day,  June  24th,  the  news  reached  Los  Angeles 
just  as  the  council  had  decided  on  a  plan  of 
defense  against  Castro,  who  was  five  hundred 
miles  away.  Pico,  on  the  impulse  of  the  mo- 
ment, issued  a  proclamation,  in  which  he 
arraigned  the  United  States  for  perfidy  and 
treachery,  and  the  gang  of  "North  American 
adventurers,"  who  captured  Sonoma  "with  the 
blackest  treason  the  spirit  of  evil  can  invent." 
His  arraignment  of  the  "North  American  na- 
tion" was  so  severe  that  some  nf  his  American 
friends   in   Los   Angeles   took   umbrage   to   hi- 


122 


HISTORICAL   AXD    BIOGRAPHICAL    RECORD. 


pronunciamento.  He  afterwards  tried  to  recall 
it,  but  it  was  too  late;   it  had  been  published. 

Castro,  rinding  the  "foreign  adventurers"  too 
numerous  and  too  aggressive  in  the  northern 
part  of  the  territory,  determined,  with  what  men 
he  could  induce  to  go  with  him,  to  retreat  to 
the  south;  but  before  so  doing  he  sent  a  medi- 
ator to  Pico  to  negotiate  a  treaty  of  peace  and 
amity  between  the  factions.  On  the  12th  of 
July  the  two  armies  met  at  Santa  Margarita, 
near  San  Luis  Obispo.  Castro  brought  the 
news  that  Commodore  Sloat  had  hoisted  the 
United  States  flag  at  Monterey  and  taken  pos- 
session of  the  country  for  his  government.  The 
meeting  of  the  governor  and  the  comandante- 
general  was  not  very  cordial,  but  in  the  presence 
of  the  impending  danger  to  the  territory  they 
concealed  their  mutual  dislike  and  decided  to 
do  their  best  to  defend  the  country  they  both 
loved. 

Sorrowfully  they  began  their  retreat  to  the 
capital;  but  even  threatened  disaster  to  their 
common  country  could  not  wholly  unite  the 
north  and  the  south.  The  respective  armies, 
Castro's  numbering  about  one  hundred  and  fifty 
men,  and  Pico*s  one  hundred  and  twenty,  kept 
about  a  day's  march  apart.  They  reached  Los 
Angeles,  and  preparations  were  begun  to  resist 
the  invasion  of  the  Americans.  Pico  issued  a 
proclamation  ordering  all  able-bodied  men  be- 
tween fifteen  and  sixty  years  of  age,  native  and 
naturalized,  to  take  up  arms  to  defend  the  coun- 
try; any  able-bodied  Mexican  refusing  was  to 
be  treated  as  a  traitor.  There  was  no  enthusi- 
asm for  the  cause.  The  old  factional  jealousy 
and  distrust  was  as  potent  as  ever.  The  militia 
of  the  south  would  obey  none  but  their  own 
officers;  Castro's  troops,  who  considered  them- 
selves regulars,  ridiculed  the  raw  recruits  of 
the  surenos,  while  the  naturalized  foreigners  of 
American  extraction  secretly  sympathized  with 
their  own  people. 

Pico,  t<>  counteract  the  malign  influence  of  his 
Santa  Barbara  proclamation  and  enlist  the  sym- 
pathy and  more  ready  adhesion  of  the  foreign 
element  of  Los  Angeles,  issued  the  following 
circular:  (This  circular  or  proclamation  has 
never  before  found  its  way  into  print.  T  find 
no  allusion  to  it  in  Bancroft's  or  HittcH's   His- 


tories. A  copy,  probably  the  only  one  in  exist- 
ence, was  donated  some  years  since  to  the 
Historical  Society  of  Southern  California.) 


Gobiemo  del  Dcp. 
dc  Califoniias. 

"Circular. — As  owing  to  the  unfortunate 
condition  of  things  that  now  prevails  in  this 
department  in  consequence  of  the  war  into 
which  the  United  States  has  provoked  the  Mex- 
ican nation,  some  ill  feeling  might  spring  up 
between  the  citizens  of  the  two  countries,  out  of 
which  unfortunate  occurrences  might  grow,  and 
as  this  government  desires  to  remove  every 
cause  of  friction,  it  has  seen  fit,  in  the  use  of  its 
power,  to  issue  the  present  circular. 

"The  Government  of  the  department  of  Cali- 
fornia declares  in  the  most  solemn  manner  that 
all  the  citizens  of  the  United  States  that  have 
come  lawfully  into  its  territory,  relying  upon 
the  honest  administration  of  the  laws  and  the 
observance  of  the  prevailing  treaties,  shall  not 
be  molested  in  the  least,  and  their  lives  and 
property  shall  remain  in  perfect  safety  under  the 
protection  of  the  Mexican  laws  and  authorities 
legally  constituted. 

"Therefore,  in  the  name  of  the  supreme  gov- 
ernment of  the  nation,  and  by  virtue  of  the 
authority  vested  upon  me,  I  enjoin  upon  all  the 
inhabitants  of  California  to  observe  towards  the 
citizens  of  the  United  States  that  have  lawfully 
come  among  us,  the  kindest  and  most  cordial 
conduct,  and  to  abstain  from  all  acts  of  violence 
against  their  persons  or  property ;  provided  they 
remain  neutral,  as  heretofore,  and  take  no  part 
in  the  invasion  effected  by  the  armies  of  their 
nation. 

"The  authorities  of  the  various  municipalities 
and  corporations  will  be  held  strictly  responsi- 
ble for  the  faithful  fulfillment  of  this  order,  and 
shall,  as  soon  as  possible,  take  the  necessary 
measures  to  bring  it  to  the  knowledge  of  the 
people.     <  iod  and  Liberty. 

"Pio  Pico. 

"Jose   Matias   Mareno,  Secretary  pro  tan." 

Angeles,  July  27,  1846. 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL    RECORD. 


123 


When  we  consider  the  conditions  existing  in 
California  at  the  time  this  circular  was  issued, 
its  sentiments  reflect  great  credit  on  Pico  for 
his  humanity  and  forbearance.  A  little  over  a 
month  before,  a  party  of  Americans  seized 
General  Vallejo  and  several  other  prominent 
Californians  in  their  homes  and  incarcerated 
them  in  prison  at  Sutter's  Fort.  Nor  was  this 
outrage  mitigated  when  the  stars  and  stripes 
were  raised.  The  perpetrators  of  the  outrage 
were  not  punished.  These  native  Californians 
were  kept  in  prison  nearly  two  months  without 
any  charge  against  them.  Besides,  Governor 
Pico  and  the  leading  Californians  very  well 
knew  that  the  Americans  whose  lives  and  prop- 
erty this  proclamation  was  designed  to  protect 
would  not  remain  neutral  when  their  country- 
men invaded  the  territory.  Pio  Pico  deserved 
better  treatment  from  the  Americans  than  he 
received.  He  was  robbed  of  his  landed  posses- 
sions by  unscrupulous  land  sharks,  and  his  char- 
acter defamed  by  irresponsible  historical  scrib- 
blers. 

Pico  made  strenuous  efforts  to  raise  men  and 
means  to  resist  the  threatened  invasion.  He  had 
mortgaged  the  government  house  to  de  Cclis 
for  $2,000,  the  mortgage  to  be  paid  "as  soon  as 
order  shall  be  established  in  the  department." 
This  loan  was  really  negotiated  to  fit  out  the 
expedition  against  Castro,  but  a  part  of  it  was 
expended  after  his  return  to  Los  Angeles  in 
procuring  supplies  while  preparing  to  meet  the 
American  army.  The  government  had  but  little 
credit.  The  moneyed  men  of  the  pueblo  were 
averse  to  putting  money  into  what  was  almost 
sure  to  prove  a  lost  cause.  The  bickerings  and 
jealousies  between  the  factions  neutralized  to  a 
considerable  degree  the  efforts  of  Pico  and  Cas- 
tro to  mobilize  the  army. 

Castro  established  his  camp  on  the  mesa  east 
of  the  river.  Here  he  and  Andres  Pico  under- 
took to  drill  the  somewhat  incongruous  collec- 
tion of  hombres  in  military  maneuvering.  Their 
entire  force  at  no  time  exceeded  three  hundred 
men.  These  were  poorly  armed  and  lacking  in 
discipline. 

We  left  Stockton  at  Monterey  preparing  an 
expedition  against  Castro  at  Los  Angeles.  On 
taking  command  of  the  Pacific  squadron.  July 


29,  he  issued  a  proclamation.  It  was  as  bom- 
bastic as  the  pronunciamiento  of  a  Mexican 
governor.  Bancroft  says:  "The  paper  was 
made  up  of  falsehood,  of  irrelevant  issues  and 
bombastic  ranting  in  about  equal  parts,  the 
tone  being  offensive  and  impolitic  even  in  those 
inconsiderable  portions  which  were  true  and 
legitimate."  His  only  object  in  taking  posses- 
sion of  the  country  was  "to  save  from  destruc- 
tion the  lives  and  property  of  the  foreign  resi- 
dents and  citizens  of  the  territory  who  had  in- 
voked his  protection."  In  view:  of  Pico's  humane 
circular  and  the  uniform  kind  treatment  that  the 
Californians  accorded  the  American  residents, 
there  was  very  little  need  of  Stockton's  interfer- 
ence on  that  score.  Commodore  Sloat  did  not 
approve  of  Stockton's  proclamation  or  of  his 
policy. 

On  the  6th  of  August,  Stockton  reached  San 
Pedro  and  landed  three  hundred  ami  sixty 
sailors  and  marines.  These  were  drilled  in  mili- 
tary movements  on  land  and  prepared  for  the 
march  to  Los  Angeles. 

Castro  sent  two  commissioners,  Pablo  de  La 
Guerra  and  Jose  M.  Flores,  to  Stockton,  asking 
for  a  conference  and  a  cessation  of  hostilities 
while  negotiations  were  pending.  They  asked 
that  the  United  States  forces  remain  at  San 
Pedro  while  the  terms  of  the  treaty  were  under 
discussion.  These  requests  Commodore  Stock- 
ton peremptorily  refused,  and  the  commissioners 
returned  to  Los  Angeles  without  stating  the 
terms  on  which  they  proposed  to  treat. 

In  several  so-called  histories,  1  find  a  very 
dramatic  account  of  this  interview.  On  the  ar- 
rival of  the  commissioners  they  were  marched 
up  to  the  mouth  of  an  immense  mortar, 
shrouded  in  skins  save  its  huge  aperture.  Their 
terror  and  discomfiture  were  plainly  discernible. 
Stockton  received  them  with  a  stern  and  forbid- 
ding countenance,  harshly  demanding  their  mis- 
sion, which  the)  disclosed  in  great  confusion. 
They   bore    a    letter    from    I  sing   a 

truce,  each  party  t"  hold  its  own  possi  ■ 
until  a  general  pacification  should  be  had.  This 
proposal  Stockton  rejected  with  contempt,  and 
dismissed  the  commissioners  with  the  assurance 
that  only  an  immediate  disbandmenl  of  his 
forces   and    an    unconditional    surrender    would 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL  RECORD. 


shield  Castro  from  the  vengeance  of  an  incensed 
foe.  The  messengers  remounted  their  horses 
in  dismay  and  fled  back  to  Castro."  The  mortar 
story,  it  is  needless  to  say,  is  pure  fabrication, 
yet  it  runs  through  a  number  of  so-called  his- 
tories of  California.  Castro,  on  the  yth  of  Au- 
gust, held  a  council  of  war  with  his  officers  at 
the  Campo  en  La  Mesa.  He  announced  his  in- 
tention of  leaving  the  country  for  the  purpose  of 
reporting  to  the  supreme  government,  and  of 
returning  at  some  future  day  to  punish  the 
usurpers.  He  wrote  to  Pico:  "I  can  count  only 
one  hundred  men,  badly  armed,  worse  supplied 
and  discontented  by  reason  of  the  miseries  they 
suffer;  so  that  1  have  reason  to  fear  that  not 
even  these  men  will  fight  when  the  necessity 
arises."  And  this  is  the  force  that  some  imag- 
inative historians  estimate  at  eight  hundred  to 
one  thousand  men. 

Pico  and  Castro  left  Los  Angeles  on  the 
night  of  August  10,  for  Mexico;  Castro  going 
by  the  Colorado  River  route  to  Sonora,  and 
Pico,  after  being  concealed  for  a  time  by  his 
brother-in-law,  Juan  Foster,  at  the  Santa  Mar- 
garita and  narrowly  escaping  capture  by  Fre- 
mont's men,  finally  reached  Lower  California 
and  later  on  crossed  the  Gulf  to  Sonora. 

Stockton  began  his  march  on  Los  Angeles 
August  ii.  He  took  with  him  a  battery  of  four 
guns.  The  guns  were  mounted  on  carretas,  and 
each  gun  drawn  by  four  oxen.  He  had  with 
him  a  good  brass  band. 

Major  Fremont,  who  had  been  sent  to  San 
Diego  with  his  battalion  of  one  hundred  and 
seventy  men,  had,  after  considerable  skirmish- 
ing among  the  ranchos,  secured  enough  horses 
to  move,  and  on  the  8th  of  August  had  begun 
his  march  to  join  Stockton.  He  took  with  him 
one  hundred  and  twenty  men,  leaving  about 
fifty  to  garrison  San  Diego. 

Stockton  consumed  three  days  on  the  march. 
Fremont's  troops  joined  him  just  south  of  the 
city,  and  at  4  p.  m.  of  the  13th  the  combined 
force,  numbering  nearly  five  hundred  men,  en- 
tered the  town  without  opposition,  "our  entry," 
says  Major  Fremont,  "having  more  the  effect 
of  a  parade  of  home  guards  than  of  an  enemy 
taking  possession  of  a  conquered  town."  Stock- 
ton reported  finding  at  Castro's  abandoned  camp 


ten  pieces  of  artillery,  four  of  them  spiked.  Fre- 
mont says  he  (Castro)  "had  buried  part  of  his 
guns."  Castro's  troops  that  he  had  brought 
down  with  him  took  their  departure  for  their 
northern  homes  soon  after  their  general  left, 
breaking  up  into  small  squads  as  they  advanced. 
The  southern  troops  that  Pico  had  recruited  dis- 
persed to  their  homes  before  the  arrival  of  the 
Americans.  Squads  of  Fremont's  battalion  were 
sent  out  to  scour  the  country  and  bring  in  any  of 
the  Californian  officers  or  leading  men  whom 
they  could  find.  These,  when  found,  were 
paroled. 

Another  of  those  historical  myths,  like  the 
mortar  story  previously  mentioned,  which  is 
palmed  off  on  credulous  readers  as  genuine  his- 
tory, runs  as  follows:  "Stockton,  while  en  route 
from  San  Pedro  to  Los  Angeles,  was  informed 
by  a  courier  from  Castro  'that  if  he  marched 
upon  the  town  he  would  find  it  the  grave  of  him- 
self and  men.'  'Then,'  answered  the  commodore, 
'tell  the  general  to  have  the  bells  ready  to  toll 
at  eight  o'clock,  as  I  shall  be  there  by  that 
time.'  "  As  Castro  left  Los  Angeles  the  day 
before  Stockton  began  his  march  from  San 
Pedro,  and  when  the  commodore  entered  the 
city  the  Mexican  general  was  probably  two 
hundred  miles  away,  the  bell  tolling  myth  goes 
to  join  its  kindred  myths  in  the  category  of  his- 
tory as  it  should  not  be  written. 

On  the  17th  of  August,  Stockton  issued  a  sec- 
ond proclamation,  in  which  he  signs  himself 
commander-in-chief  and  governor  of  the  terri- 
tory of  California.  It  was  milder  in  tone  and 
more  dignified  than  the  first.  He  informed  the 
people  that  their  country  now  belonged  to  the 
United  States.  For  the  present  it  would  be 
governed  by  martial  law.  They  were  invited 
to  elect  their  local  officers  if  those  now  in  office 
refused  to  serve. 

Four  days  after  the  capture  of  Los  Angeles, 
The  Warren,  Captain  Hull,  commander,  an- 
chored at  San  Pedro.  She  brought  official  no- 
tice of  the  declaration  of  war  between  the 
United  States  and  Mexico.  Then  for  the  first 
time  Stockton  learned  that  there  had  been  an 
official  declaration  of  war  between  the  two 
countries.  United  States  officers  had  waged 
war  and  had  taken  possession  of  California  upon 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


the  strength  of  a  rumor  that  hostilities  existed 
between  the  countries. 

The  conquest,  if  conquest  it  can  be  called,  was 
accomplished  without  the  loss  of  a  life,  if  we 
except  the  two  Americans,  Fowler  and  Cowie, 
of  the  Bear  Flag  party,  who  were  brutally  mur- 
dered by  a  band  of  Californians  under  Padillo, 
and  the  equally  brutal  shooting  of  Beryessa  and 
the  two  de  Haro  boys  by  the  Americans  at  San 
Rafael.  These  three  men  were  shot  as  spies, 
but  there  was  no  proof  that  they  were  such,  and 
they  were  not  tried.  These  murders  occurred 
before  Commodore  Sloat  raised  the  stars  and 
stripes  at  Monterey. 

On  the  15th  of  August,  1846,  just  thirty-seven 
days  after  the  raising  of  the  stars  and  stripes 
at  Monterey,  the  first  newspaper  ever  published 
in  California  made  its  appearance.  It  was  pub- 
lished at  Monterey  by  Semple  and  Colton  and 
named  The  Californian.  Rev.  Walter  Colton 
was  a  chaplain  in  the  United  States  navy  ami 
came  to  California  on  the  Congress  with  Com- 
modore Stockton.  He  was  made  alcalde  of 
Monterey  and  built,  bv  the  labor  of  the  chain 


gang  and  from  contributions  and  fines,  the 
first  schoolhouse  in  California,  named  foi  him 
Colton  Hall.  Colton  thus  describes  the  other 
member  of  the  firm,  Dr.  Robert  Semple:  "My 
partner  is  an  emigrant  from  Kentucky,  who 
stands  six  feet  eight  in  his  stockings.  He  is  in 
a  buckskin  dress,  a  foxskin  cap;  is  true  with  his 
rifle,  ready  with  his  pen  and  quick  at  the  type 
case."  Semple  came  to  California  in  1845,  with 
the  Hastings  party,  and  was  one  of  the  leaders 
in  the  Bear  Flag  revolution.  The  type  and 
press  used  were  brought  to  California  by  Au- 
gustin  V.  Zamorano  in  1834,  and  by  him  sold 
to  the  territorial  government,  and  had  been 
used  for  printing  bandos  and  pronunciamentos. 
The  only  paper  the  publishers  of  The  Californian 
could  procure  was  that  used  in  the  manufacture 
of  cigarettes,  which  came  in  sheets  a  little 
larger  than  foolscap.  The  font  of  type  was 
short  of  w's,  so  two  v's  were  substituted  for 
that  letter,  and  when  these  ran  out  two  u's  were 
used.  The  paper  was  moved  to  San  Francisco 
in  1848  and  later  on  consolidated  with  the  Cali- 
fornia  Star. 


CHAPTER   XVII. 


REVOLT    OF     THE    CALIFORNIANS. 


HOSTILITIES  had  ceased  in  all  parts  of 
the  territory.  The  leaders  of  the  Cali- 
fornians had  escaped  to  Mexico,  and 
Stockton,  regarding  the  conquest  as  completed, 
set  about  organizing  a  government  for  the  con- 
quered territory.  Fremont  was  to  be  appointed 
military  governor.  Detachments  from  his  bat- 
talion were  to  be  detailed  to  garrison  different 
towns,  while  Stockton,  with  what  recruits  he 
could  gather  in  California,  and  his  sailors  and 
marines,  was  to  undertake  a  naval  expedition 
against  the  west  coast  of  Mexico,  land  his  f<  irees 
at  Mazatlan  or  Acapulco  and  march  overland 
to  "shake  hands  with  General  Taylor  at  the 
gates  of  Mexico."  Captain  Gillespie  was  made 
military  commandant  of  the  southern  depart- 
ment, with  headquarters  at  Los  Angeles,  and  as 
signed  a  garrison  of  fifty  men.  Commodore 
Stockton  left  Los  Angeles  for  the  north  Sep- 


tember 2.  Fremont,  with  the  remainder  of  his 
battalion,  took  up  his  line  of  march  for  Monte- 
rey a  few  days  later.  Gillespie's  orders  were  I  1 
place  the  city  under  martial  law,  but  not  to  en- 
force the  more  burdensome  restrictions  upon 
quiet  and  weli-disposed  citizens.  A  conciliator) 
policy  in  accordance  with  instructions  of  the 
secretary  of  the  navy  was  to  be  adopted  and  the 
people  were  to  be  encouraged  to  "neutrality, 
self-government  and  friendship." 

Nearly  all  historians  who  have  written  upon 
this  subject  lav  the  blame  for  the  subsequent 
uprising  of  the  Californians  and  their  revolt 
against  the  rule  of  the  military  commandant, 
Gillespie,  to  his  petty  tyrannies.  Col.  J.  J. 
Warner,  in  his  Historical  Sketch  of  Los  An- 
geles County,  says:  "Gillespie  attempted  by  a 
coercive  system  to  effeci  a  moral  and  social 
change  in  the  habits,  diversions  and  pastimes  of 


126 


HISTORICAL   AXD   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


the  people  and  to  reduce  them  to  his  standard 
of  propriety."  Warner  was  not  an  impartial 
judge.  He  had  a  grievance  against  Gillespie 
which  embittered  him  against  the  captain.  Gil- 
lespie may  have  been  lacking  in  tact,  and  his 
schooling  in  the  navy  under  the  tyrannical 
regime  of  the  quarterdeck  of  fifty  years  ago 
was  not  the  best  training  to  fit  him  for  govern- 
ment, but  it  is  hardly  probable  that  in  two 
weeks'  time  he  undertook  to  enforce  a  "coercive 
system"  looking  toward  an  entire  change  in  the 
moral  and  social  habits  of  the  people.  Los  An- 
geles under  Mexican  domination  was  a  hotbed 
of  revolutions.  It  had  a  turbulent  and  restless 
element  among  its  inhabitants  that  was  never 
happier  than  when  fomenting  strife  and  c<  in- 
spiring to  overthrow  those  in  power.  Of  this 
class  Colton,  writing  in  1846,  says:  "They  drift 
-about  like  Arabs.  If  the  tide  of  fortune  turns 
against  them  they  disband  and  scatter  to  the 
four  winds.  They  never  become  martyrs  to  any 
cause.  They  are  too  numerous  to  be  brought 
to  punishment  by  any  of  their  governors,  and 
thus  escape  justice."  There  was  a  conservative 
class  in  the  territory,  made  up  principally  of 
the  large  landed  proprietors,  both  native  and 
foreign-born,  but  these  exerted  small  influence 
in  controlling  the  turbulent.  While  Los  An- 
geles had  a  monopoly  of  this  turbulent  and  rev- 
olutionary element,  other  settlements  in  the 
territory  furnished  their  full  quota  of  that  class 
of  political  knight  errants  whose  chief  pastime 
was  revolution,  and  whose  capital  consisted  of 
a  gaily  caparisoned  steed,  a  riata,  a  lance,  a 
dagger  and  possibly  a  pair  of  horse  pistols. 
These  were  the  fellows  whose  "habits,  diver- 
sinus  and  pastimes"  Gillespie  undertook  to  re- 
duce "to  his  standard  of  propriety." 

That  Commodore  Stockton  should  have  left 
Gillespie  so  small  a  garrison  to  hold  the  city 
and  surrounding  country  in  subjection  sliows 
that  either  he  was  ignoranl  of  the  character  of 
the  people,  or  that  he  placed  too  great  reliance 
in  the  completeness  of  their  subjection.  With 
Castro's  men  in  the  city  or  dispersed  among  the 
neighboring  ranchos,  many  of  them  still  retain- 
ing their  arms,  and  all  of  them  ready  to  rally 
at  a  moment's  notice  to  the  call  of  their  leaders; 
with  no  reinforcements  nearer  than  five  hundred 


miles  to  come  to  the  aid  of  Gillespie  in  case  of 
an  uprising,  it  was  foolhardiness  in  Stockton  to 
entrust  the  holding  of  the  most  important  place 
in  California  to  a  mere  handful  of  men,  half 
disciplined  and  poorly  equipped,  without  forti- 
fications for  defense  or  supplies  to  hold  out  in 
case  of  a  siege. 

Scarcelv  had  Stockton  and  Fremont,  with 
their  men,  left  the  city  before  trouble  began. 
The  turbulent  element  of  the  city  fomented 
strife  and  seized  every  occasion  to  annoy  and 
harass  the  military  commandant  and  his  men. 
While  his  "petty  tyrannies,"  so  called,  which 
were  probably  nothing  more  than  the  enforce- 
ment of  martial  law,  may  have  been  somewhat 
provocative,  the  real  cause  was  more  deep 
seated.  The  Californians,  without  provocation 
on  their  part  and  without  really  knowing  the 
cause  why,  found  their  country  invaded,  their 
property  taken  from  them  and  their  government 
in  the  hands  of  an  alien  race,  foreign  to  them 
in  customs  and  religion.  They  would  have  been 
a  tame  and  spiritless  people  indeed,  had  they 
neglected  the  opportunity  that  Stockton's  blun- 
dering gave  them  to  regain  their  liberties.  They 
did  not  waste  much  time.  Within  two  weeks 
from  the  time  Stockton  sailed  from  San  Pedro 
hostilities  had  begun  and  the  city  was  in  a  state 
of  siege. 

Gillespie,  writing  in  the  Sacramento  States- 
man in  1858,  thus  describes  the  first  attack: 
"On  the  22d  of  September,  at  three  o'clock  in 
the  morning,  a  party  of  sixty-five  Californians 
and  Sonorenos  made  an  attack  upon  my  small 
command  quartered  in  the  government  house. 
We  were  not  wholly  surprised,  and  with  twenty- 
one  rifles  we  beat  them  back  without  loss  to  our- 
selves,  killing  and  wounding  three  of  their  num- 
ber. When  daylight  came.  Lieutenant  Hensley, 
with  a  few  men,  took  several  prisoners  and 
drove  the  Californians  from  the  town.  This 
party  was  merely  the  nucleus  of  a  revolution 
commenced  ami  known  to  Colonel  Fremont  be- 
fore he  left  Los  Angeles.  In  twenty-four  hours, 
six  hundred  well-mounted  horsemen,  armed 
with  escopetas  (shotguns),  lances  and  one  fine 
brass  piece  of  light  artillery,  surrounded  Los 
Angeles  ami  summoned  me  to  surrender.  There 
were  three  old  honey-combed  iron  guns  (spiked) 


HISTORICAL   AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


127 


in  the  corral  of  my  quarters,  which  we  at  once 
cleared  and  mounted  upon  the  axles  of  carts." 

Serbulo  Yarela,  a  young  man  of  some  ability, 
but  of  a  turbulent  and  reckless  character,  had 
been  the  leader  at  first,  but  as  the  uprising  as- 
sumed the  character  of  a  revolution,  Castro's  old 
officers  came  to  the  front.  Capt.  Jose  Maria 
Flores  was  chosen  comandante-general;  Jose 
Antonio  Carrillo,  major-general;  and  Andres 
Pico,  comandante  de  escuadron.  The  main 
camp  of  the  insurgents  was  located  on  the  mesa, 
east  of  the  river,  at  a  place  called  Paredon 
Blanco  (White  Bluff). 

On  the  24th  of  September,  from  the  camp 
at  White  Bluff,  was  issued  the  famous  Pronun- 
ciamiento  de  Barelas  y  otros  Californias  contra 
Los  Americanos  (The  Proclamation  of  Barelas 
and  other  Californians  against  the  Americans). 
Il  was  signed  by  Serbulo  Varela  (spelled  Bare- 
las), Leonardo  Cota  and  over  three  hundred 
others.  Although  this  proclamation  is  gener- 
ally credited  to  Flores,  there  is  no  evidence  to 
show  that  he  had  anything  to  do  with  framing 
it.  He  promulgated  it  over  his  signature  Octo- 
ber 1.  It  is  probable  that  it  was  written  by 
Varela  and  Cota.  It  has  been  the  custom  of 
American  writers  to  sneer  at  this  production  as 
florid  and  bombastic.  In  fiery  invective  and 
fierce  denunciation  it  is  the  equal  of  Patrick 
Henry's  famous  "Give  me  liberty  or  give  me 
death!"  Its  recital  of  wrongs  is  brief,  but  to 
the  point.  "And  shall  we  be  capable  of  permit- 
ting ourselves  to  be  subjugated  and  to  accept  in 
silence  the  heavy  chains  of  slavery?  Shall  we 
lose  the  soil  inherited  from  our  fathers,  which 
cost  them  so  much  blood?  Shall  we  leave  our 
families  victims  of  the  most  barbarous  servi- 
tude? Shall  we  wait  to  see  our  wives  outraged, 
our  innocent  children  beaten  by  American 
whips,  our  property  sacked,  our  temples  pro- 
faned, to  drag  out  a  life  full  of  shame  and  dis- 
grace? No!  a  thousand  times  no!  Compatriots, 
death  rather  than  that!  Who  of  you  does  not 
feel  his  heart  beat  and  his  blood  boil  on  con- 
templating our  situation?  Who  will  be  the 
Mexican  that  will  not  be  indignant  and  rise  in 
arms  to  destroy  our  oppressors?  We  believe 
there  will  be  not  one  so  vile  and  cowardly!" 

Gillespie  had  left  the  government  house  (lo- 


cated on  what  is  now  the  site  of  the  St.  Charles 
Hotel)  and  taken  a  position  on  Fort  Hill,  where 
he  had  erected  a  temporary  barricade  of  sacks 
filled  with  earth  and  had  mounted  his  cannon 
there.  The  Americans  had  been  summoned  to 
surrender,  but  hail  refused.  They  were  besieged 
by  the  Californians.  There  was  but  little  firing 
between  the  combatants,  an  occasional  sortie 
and  a  volley  of  rifle  balls  by  the  Americans 
when  the  Californians  approached  too  near. 
The  Californians  were  well  mounted,  but  poorly 
armed,  their  weapons  being  principally  muskets, 
shotguns,  pistols,  lances  and  riatas;  while  the 
Americans  were  armed  with  long-range  rifles, 
of  which  the  Californians  had  a  wholesome 
dread.  The  fear  of  these  arms  and  his  cannon 
doubtless  saved  Gillespie  and  his  men  from 
capture. 

On  the  24th  Gillespie  dispatched  a  messenger 
to  find  Stockton  at  Monterey,  or  at  San  Fran- 
cisco if  he  had  left  Monterey,  and  apprise  him 
of  the  perilous  situation  of  the  Americans  at 
Los  Angeles.  Gillespie's  dispatch  bearer,  John 
Brown,  better  known  by  his  California  nick- 
name, Juan  Flaco  or  Lean  John,  made  one  of 
the  most  wonderful  rides  in  history.  Gillespie 
furnished  Juan  Flaco  with  a  package  of  cigar- 
ctees,  the  paper  of  each  bearing  the  inscription, 
"Believe  the  bearer;"  these  were  stampd  with 
Gillespie's  seal.  Brown  started  from  Los  Angeles 
at  8  p.  m.,  September  24,  and  claimed  to  have 
reached  Verba  Buena  at  8  p.  m.  of  the  28th, 
a  ride  of  six  hundred  and  thirty  miles  in  four 
days.  This  is  incorrect.  Colton,  who  was  al- 
calde of  Monterey  at  that  time,  notes  Brown's 
arrival  at  that  place  on  the  evening  of  the  29th. 
Colton,  in  his  "Three  Years  in  California,"  says 
that  Brown  rode  the  whole  distance  (Los  An- 
geles to  Monterey)  of  four  hundred  and  sixty 
miles  in  fifty-two  hours,  during  which  time  he 
had  not  slept.  His  intelligence  was  for  Com- 
modore Stockton  and,  in  the  nature  of  the  case, 
was  not  committed  to  paper,  except  a  few  words 
rolled  in  a  cigar  fastened  in  his  hair.  But  the 
commodore  had  sailed  for  San  Francisco  and 
it  was  necessary  lie  should  go  one  hundred  and 
forty  miles  further.  He  was  quite  exhausted 
anil  was  allowed  to  sleep  three  hours.  Before 
day  he  was  it])  and  awa\    on  his  journey.     Gil- 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


lespie,  in  a  letter  published  in  the  Los  Angeles 
Star,  May  28,  1858,  describing  Juan  Flaco's  ride 
says:  "Before  sunrise  of  the  29th  he  was  lying 
in  the  bushes  at  San  Francisco,  in  front  of  the 
congress  frigate,  waiting  for  the  early  market 
boat  to  come  on  shore,  and  he  delivered  my 
dispatches  to  Commodore  Stockton  before  7 
o'clock." 

In  trying  to  steal  through  tl*e  picket  line  of 
the  Mexicans  at  Los  Angeles,  he  was  discovered 
and  pursued  by  a  squad  of  them.  A  hot  race 
ensued.  Finding  the  enemy -gaining  on  him  he 
forced  his  horse  to  leap  a  wide  ravine.  A  shot 
from  one  of  his  pursuers  mortally  wounded  his 
horse,  which,  after  running  a  short  distance,  fell 
dead.  Flaco,  carrying  his  spurs  and  riata,  made 
his  way  on  foot  in  the  darkness  to  Las  Virgines, 
a  distance  of  twenty-seven  miles.  Here  he  se- 
cured another  mount  and  again  set  off  on  his 
perilous  journey.  The  trail  over  which  Flaco 
held  his  way  was  not  like  "the  road  from  Win- 
chester town,  a  good,  broad  highway  leading 
down,"  but  instead  a  Camino  de  heradura,  bridle 
path,  now  winding  up  through  rocky  canons, 
skirting  along  the  edge  of  precipitous  cliffs,  then 
zigzagging  down  chaparral  covered  mountains; 
now  over  the  sands  of  the  sea  beach  and  again 
across  long  stretches  of  brown  mesa,  winding 
through  narrow  valleys  and  out  onto  the  rolling 
hills — a  trail  as  nature  made  it,  unchanged  by 
the  hand  of  man.  Such  was  the  highway  over 
which  Flaco's  steeds  "stretched  away  with  ut- 
most speed."  Harassed  and  pursued  by  the 
enemy,  facing  death  night  and  day,  with  scarcely 
a  stop  or  a  stay  to  eat  or  sleep,  Juan  Flaco  rode 
six   hundred    miles. 

"Of  all   the   rides   since   the   birth   of   time. 
Told  in  story  or  sung  in  rhyme, 
The  fleetesl  ride  that  ever  was  sped," 

was  Juan  Flaco's  ride  from  Los  Angeles  to  San 
Francisco.  Longfellow  has  immortalized  the 
"Ride  of  Paul  Revere,"  Robert  Browning  tells 
in  stirring  verse  of  the  riders  who  brought  the 
good  news  from  Ghent  to  Aix,  and  Buchanan 
Read  thrills  us  with  the  heroic  measures  of  Sher- 
idan's Ride.  Xo  poet  has  sung  of  Juan  Flaco's 
wonderful  ride,  fleeter,  longer  and  more  perilous 
than  any  of  these.     Flaco  rode  six  hundred  miles 


through  the  enemy's  country,  to  bring  aid  to  a 
besieged  garrison,  while  Revere  and  Jorris  and 
Sheridan  were  in  the  country  of  friends  or  pro- 
tected by  an  army  from  enemies. 

Gillespie's  situation  was  growing  more  and 
more  desperate  each  day.  B.  D.  Wilson,  who 
with  a  company  of  riflemen  had  been  on  an 
expedition  against  the  Indians, had  been  ordered 
by  Gillespie  to  join  him.  They  reached  the 
Chino  ranch,  where  a  fight  took  place  between 
them  and  the  Californians.  Wilson's  men  being 
out  of  ammunition  were  compelled  to  sur- 
render. In  the  charge  upon  the  adobe,  where 
Wilson  and  his  men  had  taken  refuge,  Carlos 
Ballestaros  had  been  killed  and  several  Cali- 
fornians wounded.  This  and  Gillespie's  stubborn 
resistance  had  embittered  the  Californians  against 
him  and  his  men.  The  Chino  prisoners  had  been 
saved  from  massacre  after  their  surrender  by 
the  firmness  and  bravery  of  Yarela.  If  Gillespie 
continued  to  hold  the  town  his  obstinacy  might 
bring  down  the  vengeance  of  the  Californians 
not  only  upon  him  and  his  men.  but  upon  many 
of  the  American  residents  of  the  south,  who  had 
favored  their  countrymen. 

Finally  Flores  issued  his  ultimatum  to  the 
Americans,  surrender  within  twenty-four  hours 
or  take  the  consequences  of  an  onslaught  by 
the  Californians,  which  might  result  in  the  mas- 
sacre of  the  entire  garrison.  In  the  meantime 
he  kept  his  cavalry  deployed  on  the  hills,  com- 
pletely investing  the  Americans.  Despairing  of 
assistance  from  Stockton,  on  the  advice  of  Wil- 
son, who  had  been  permitted  by  Flores  to  inter- 
cede with  Gillespie,  articles  of  capitulation  were 
drawn  up  and  signed  by  Gillespie  and  the  leaders 
of  the  Californians.  On  the  30th  of  September 
the  Americans  marched  out  of  the  city  with  all 
the  honors  of  war,  drums  beating,  colors  flying 
and  two  pieces  of  artillery  mounted  on  carts 
drawn  by  oxen.  They  arrived  at  San  Pedro 
without  molestation  and  four  or  five  days  later 
embarked  on  the  merchant  ship  Vandalia,  which 
remained  at  anchor  in  the  bay.  Gillespie  in 
his  march  was  accompanied  by  a  few  of  the 
American  residents  and  probably  a  dozen  of  the 
Chino  prisoners,  who  had  been  exchanged  for 
the  same  number  of  Californians.  whom  he 
had  held  under  arrest  most  likely  as  hostages. 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL    RECORD. 


L29 


Gillespie  took  two  cannon  with  him  when  he 
evacuated  the  city,  leaving  two  spiked  and  broken 
on  Fort  Hill.  There  seems  to  have  been  a  pro- 
viso in  the  articles  of  capitulation  requiring  him 


to  deliver  the  guns  to  Flores  on  reaching  the 
embarcadero.  If  there  was  such  a  stipulation  Gil- 
lespie violated  it.  lie  spiked  the  guns,  broke  off 
the  trunnions  and  rolled  one  of  them  into  the  bay. 


CHAPTER   XVIII. 

THE  DEFEAT  AND  RETREAT  OF  MERVINE'S  MEN. 


THE  revolt  of  the  Californians  at  Los  An- 
geles was  followed  by  similar  uprisings 
in  the  different  centers  of  population 
where  American  garrisons  were  stationed.  Upon 
the  receipt  of  Gillespie's  message  Commodore 
Stockton  ordered  Captain  Mervine  to  proceed 
at  once  to  San  Pedro  to  regain,  if  possible,  the 
lost  territory.  Juan  Flaco  had  delivered  his 
message  to  Stockton  on  September  30.  Early 
on  the  morning  of  October  1st,  Captain  Mer- 
vine got  under  way  for  San  Pedro.  '"He  went 
ashore  at  Sausalito,"  says  Gillespie,  "on  some 
trivial  excuse,  and  a  dense  fog  coming  on  he 
was  compelled  to  remain  there  until  the  4th." 

Of  the  notable  events  occurring  during  the 
conquest  of  California  there  are  few  others  of 
which  there  are  so  contradictory  accounts  as 
that  known  as  the  battle  of  Dominguez  Ranch, 
where  Mervine  was  defeated  and  compelled  to  re- 
treat to  San  Pedro.  Historians  differ  widely 
in  the  number  engaged  and  in  the  number  killed. 
The  following  account  of  Mervine's  expedition 
I  take  from  a  log  book  kept  by  Midshipman  and 
Acting-Lieut.  Robert  C.  Duvall  of  the  Savannah. 
He  commanded  a  company  during  the  battle. 
This  book  was  donated  to  the  Historical  So- 
ciety of  Southern  California  by  Dr.  J.  E.  Cowles 
of  Los  Angeles,  a  nephew  of  Lieutenant  Duvall. 
The  account  given  by  Lieutenant  Duvall  is  one 
of  the  fullest  and  most  accurate  in  existence. 

"At  9.30  a.  m."  (October  1,  1846),  says  Lieu- 
tenant Duvall,  "we  commenced  working  out  of 
the  harbor  of  San  Francisco  on  the  ebb  tide. 
The  ship  anchored  at  Sausalito.  where,  on  ac- 
count of  a  dense  fog,  it  remained  until  the  4th, 
when  it  put  to  sea.  On  the  7th  the  ship  entered 
the  harbor  of  San  Pedro.     At  6:30  p.  m.,  as  we 


were  standing  in  for  anchorage,  we  made  out 
the  American  merchant  ship  Vandalia,  having 
on  her  decks  a  body  of  men.  On  passing  she 
saluted  with  two  guns,  which  was  repeated  with 
three  cheers,  which  we  returned.  ::  *  *  * 
Iirevet  Capt.  Archibald  Gillespie  came  on  board 
and  reported  that  he  had  evacuated  the  Pueblo 
de  Los  Angeles  on  account  of  the  overpowering 
force  of  the  enemy  and  had  retired  with  his 
men  on  board  the  Vandalia  after  having  spiked 
his  guns,  one  of  which  he  threw  into  the  water. 
He  also  reported  that  the  whole  of  California 
below  the  pueblo  had  risen  in  arms  against  our 
authorities,  headed  by  Flores,  a  Mexican  cap- 
tain on  furlough  in  this  country,  who  had  but 
a  few  days  ago  given  his  parole  of  honor  not 
to  take  up  arms  against  the  United  States.  We 
made  preparations  to  land  a  force  to  march  to 
the  pueblo  at  daylight. 

"October  8,  at  6  a.  in.,  all  the  boats  left  the 
ship  for  the  purpose  of  landing  the  forces,  num- 
bering in  all  two  hundred  and  ninety-nine  men. 
including  the  volunteers  under  command  of  Cap- 
tain Gillespie.  At  6:30  all  were  landed  without 
opposition,  the  enemy  in  small  detachments  re- 
treating toward  the  pueblo.  From  their  move- 
ments we  apprehended  that  their  whole  force 
was  near.  Captain  Mervine  sent  on  board  ship 
for  a  reinforcement  of  eighty  men.  under  com- 
mand of  Lieut.  R.  B.  Hitchcock.  At  8  a.  in. 
the  several  companies,  all  under  command  of 
('apt  William  Mervine,  took  up  the  line  of 
march  for  the  purpose  of  retaking  the  pueblo. 
The  enemy  retreated  as  our  forces  advanced. 
M  hi  landing.  William  A.  Smith,  firsl  cabin  boy. 
was  killed  by  the  aeeiilenl.il  discharge  of  a  Colt's 
pistol.)      The   reinforcements     under    the    com- 


i::ii 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


mand  of  Lieut.  R.  B.  Hitchcock  returned  on 
board  ship.  Lor  the  first  four  miles  our  march 
was  through  hills  and  ravines,  which  the  enemy 
might  have  taken  advantage  of,  but  preferred  to 
occupy  as  spectators  only,  until  our  approach. 
A  few  shots  from  our  flankers  (who  were  the 
volunteer  riflemen)  would  start  them  off;  they 
returned  the  compliment  before  going.  The 
remainder  of  our  march  was  performed  over  a 
continuous  plain  overgrown  with  wild  mustard, 
rising  in  places  to  six  or  eight  feet  in  height. 
The  ground  was  excessively  dry,  the  clouds  of 
dust  were  suffocating  and  there  was  not  a  breath 
of  wind  in  motion.  There  was  no  water  on  our 
line  of  march  for  ten  or  twelve  miles  and  we 
suffered  greatly  from  thirst. 

"At  2:30  p.  m.  we  reached  our  camping 
ground.  The  enemy  appeared  in  considerable 
numbers.  Their  numbers  continued  to  increase 
until  sundown,  when  they  formed  on  a  hill  near 
us,  gradually  inclining  towards  our  camp.  They 
were  admirably  formed  for  a  cavalry  charge. 
We  drew  up  our  forces  to  meet  them,  but  find- 
ing they  were  disposed  to  remain  stationary, 
the  marines,  under  command  of  Captain  Mars- 
ton,  the  Cult's  riflemen,  under  command  of 
Lieut.  I.  B.  Carter  and  myself,  and  the  volun- 
teers, under  command  of  Capt.  A.  Gillespie,  were 
ordered  to  charge  on  them,  which  we  did.  They 
stood  their  ground  until  our  shots  commenced 
'telling'  on  them,  when  they  took  to  flight  in 
every  direction.  They  continued  to  annoy  us  by 
firing  into  our  camp  through  the  night.  About  2 
a.  m.  they  brought  a  piece  of  artillery  and  fired 
into  our  camp,  the  shot  striking  the  ground 
near  us.  The  marines,  riflemen  and  volunteers 
were  sent  in  pursuit  of  the  gun,  but  could  see 
or  hear  nothing  of  it. 

"We  left  our  camp  the  next  morning  at  6 
o'clock.  Our  plan  of  march  was  in  column  by 
platoon.  We  had  not  proceeded  far  before  the 
enemy  appeared  before  us  drawn  up  on  each 
side  of  the  road,  mounted  on  fine  horses,  each 
man  armed  with  a  lance  and  carbine.  They  also 
had  a  field  piece  (a  four-pounder),  to  which  were 
hitched  eight  or  ten  horses,  placed  on  the  road 
ahead  of  us. 

"Captain  Mervine,  thinking  it  was  the  enemy's 
intention  to  throw  us  into  confusion  by  using 


their  gun  on  us  loaded  with  round  shot  and 
copper  grape  shot  and  then  charge  us  with  their 
cavalry,  ordered  us  to  form  a  square — which  was 
the  order  of  march  throughout  the  battle.  When 
within  about  four  hundred  yards  of  them  the 
enemy  opened  on  us  with  their  artillery.  We 
made  frequent  charges,  driving  them  before  us, 
and  at  one  time  causing  them  to  leave  some  of 
their  cannon  balls  and  cartridges;  but  owing  to 
the  rapidity  with  which  they  could  carry  off 
the  gun,  using  their  lassos  on  every  part,  en- 
abled them  to  choose  their  own  distance,  en- 
tirely out  of  all  range  of  our  muskets.  Their 
horsemen  kept  out  of  danger,  apparently  con- 
tent to  let  the  gun  do  the  fighting.  They  kept 
up  a  constant  fire  with  their  carbines,  but  these 
did  no  harm.  The  enemy  numbered  between 
one  hundred  and  seventy-five  and  two  hundred 
strong. 

"Linding  it  impossible  to  capture  the  gun,  the 
retreat  was  sounded.  The  captain  consulted 
with  his  officers  on  the  best  steps  to  be  taken. 
Jt  was  decided  unanimously  to  return  on  board 
ship.  To  continue  the  march  would  sacrifice 
a  number  of  lives  to  no  purpose,  for,  admitting 
we  could  have  reached  the  pueblo,  all  com- 
munications would  be  cut  off  with  the  ship,  and 
we  would  further  be  constantly  annoyed  by  their 
artillery  without  the  least  chance  of  capturing 
it.  It  was  reported  that  the  enemy  were  be- 
tween five  and  six  hundred  strong  at  the  city 
and  it  was  thought  he  had  more  artillery.  On 
retreating  they  got  the  gun  planted  on  a  hill 
ahead  of  us. 

"The  captain  made  us  an  address,  saying  to 
the  troops  that  it  was  his  intention  to  march 
straight  ahead  in  the  same  orderly  manner  in 
which  we  had  advanced,  and  that  sooner  than 
he  would  surrender  to  such  an  enemy,  he  would 
sacrifice  himself  and  every  other  man  in  his 
command.  The  enemy  fired  into  us  four  times 
en  the  retreat,  the  fourth  shot  falling  short,  the 
report  of  the  gun  indicating  a  small  quantity  of 
powder,  after  which  they  remained  stationary 
and  manifested  no  further  disposition  to  molest 
r,s.  We  proceeded  quietly  on  our  march  to  the 
landing,  where  we  found  a  body  of  men  under 
command  of  Lieutenant  Hitchcock  with  two 
nine-pounder  cannon  gotten  from  the  Yandalia 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


to  render  us  assistance  in  case  we  should  need  it. 

"We  presented  truly  a  pitiable  condition, 
many  being  barely  able  to  drag  one  foot  after 
the  other  from  excessive  fatigue,  having  gone 
through  the  exertions  and  excitement  in  battle 
and  afterwards  performing  a  march  of  eighteen 
or  twenty  miles  without  rest.  This  is  the  first 
battle  I  have  ever  been  engaged  in,  and,  having 
taken  particular  notice  of  those  around  me,  I 
can  assert  that  no  men  could  have  acted  more 
bravely.  Even  when  their  shipmates  were  fall- 
ing by  their  sides,  I  saw  but  one  impulse  and 
that  was  to  push  forward,  and  when  retreat  was 
ordered  I  noticed  a  general  reluctance  to  turn 
their  backs  to  the  enemy. 

"The  following  is  a  list  of  the  killed  and 
wounded:  Michael  Hoey,  ordinary  seaman, 
killed;  David  Johnson,  ordinary  seaman,  killed; 
William  H.  Berry,  ordinary  seaman,  mortally 
wounded;  Charles  Sommers,  musician,  mortally 
wounded;  John  Tyre,  seaman,  severely 
wounded;  John  Anderson,  seaman,  severely 
wounded;  recovery  doubtful.  The  following- 
named  were  slightly  wounded:  William  Con- 
land,  marine;  Hiram  Rockvill,  marine;  II.  Lin- 
land,  marine;  James  Smith,  marine. 

"On  the  following  morning  we  buried  the 
bodies  of  William  A.  Smith,  Charles  Sommers, 
David  Johnson  and  Michael  Hoey  on  an  island 
in  the  harbor. 

"At  ii  a.  m.  the  captain  called  a  council  of 
commissioned  officers  regarding  the  proper 
course  to  adopt  in  the  present  crisis,  which  de- 
cided that  no  force  should  be  landed,  and  that 
the  ship  remain  here  until  further  orders  from 
the  commodore,  who  is  daily  expected." 

Entry  in  the  log  for  Sunday,  nth:  "William 
H.  Berry,  ordinary  seaman,  departed  this  life 
from  the  effect  of  wounds  received  in  battle. 
Sent  his  body  for  interment  to  Dead  Man's 
Island,  so  named  by  us.  Mustered  the  com- 
mand at  quarters,  after  which  performed  divine 
service." 

From  this  account  it  will  be  seen  that  the 
number  killed  and  died  of  wounds  received  in 
battle  was  four;  number  wounded  six,  and  one 
accidentally  killed  before  the  battle.  On  October 
22d,  Henry  Lewis  died  and  was  buried  on  the 
island.     Lewis'  name  does  not  appear  in  the  list 


of  wounded.  It  is  presumable  that  he  died  of 
disease.  Six  of  the  crew  of  the  Savannah  were 
buried  on  Dead  Man's  Island,  four  of  whom 
were  killed  in  battle.  Lieutenant  Duvall  gives 
the  following  list  of  the  officers  in  the  "Expedi- 
tion on  the  march  to  retake  Pueblo  de  Los  An- 
geles:" Capt.  William  Mervine,  commanding; 
('apt.  Ward  Marston,  commanding  marines; 
Brevet  Capt.  A.  H.  Gillespie,  commanding  vol- 
unteers; Lieut.  Henry  W.  Queen,  adjutant; 
Lieut.  B.  F.  Pinckney,  commanding  first  com- 
pany; Lieut.  W.  Rinckindoff,  commanding  sec- 
ond company;  Lieut.  I.  B.  Carter,  Colt's  rifle- 
men; Midshipman  R.  I).  Minor,  acting  lieuten- 
ant second  company;  Midshipman  S.  P.  Griffin, 
acting  lieutenant  first  company;  Midshipman  P. 
( i.  Walmough,  acting  lieutenant  second  com- 
pany; Midshipman  R.  C  Duvall,  acting  lieuten- 
ant Colt's  riflemen;  Captain  Clark  and  Captain 
Goodsall,  commanding  pikemen;  Lieutenant 
Hiensley,  first  lieutenant  volunteers;  Lieutenant 
Russeau,    second   lieutenant   volunteers. 

The  piece  of  artillery  that  did  such  deadly 
execution  on  the  Americans  was  the  famous  (  >ld 
Woman's  gun.  It  was  a  bronze  four-pounder,  i  ir 
pedrero  (swivel-gun)  that  for  a  number  of  years 
had  stood  on  the  plaza  in  front  of  the  church, 
and  was  used  for  firing  salutes  on  feast  days  and 
other  occasions.  When  on  the  approach  of 
Stockton's  and  Fremont's  forces  Castro  aban- 
doned his  artillery  and  fled,  an  old  lady.  Dona 
Clara  Cota  de  Reyes,  declared  that  the  gringos 
should  not  have  the  church's  gun;  so,  with  the 
assistance  of  her  daughters,  she  buried  it  in  a 
cane  patch  near  her  residence,  which  stood  on 
the  east  side  of  Alameda  street,  near  first. 
When  the  Californians  revolted  against  Gil- 
lespie's rule  the  gun  was  unearthed  and  used 
against  him.  The  Historical  Societ)  of  South- 
ern California  has  in  iis  possession  a  brass 
grapeshot,  one  of  a  charge  that  was  fired  into 
the  face  of  Port  Hill  at  Gillespie's  nun  when 
they  were  posted  on  the  hill.  This  gun  was  in 
the  exhibit  of  trophies  at  the  New  <  trleans  Ex- 
position in  1885.  The  label  on  it  read:  "Trophy 
53,  No.  63,  Class  7.  Used  by  Mexico  against 
the  United  States  at  the  battle  of  Dominguez1 
Ranch.  ( )ctober  9,  [846;  al  San  Gabriel  and  the 
Mesa,  January  8  and  9,  [847;  used  by  the  United 


132 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


States  forces  against  Mexico  at  Mazatlan,  No- 
vember ii,  1847;  Urios  (crew  all  killed  or 
wounded),  Palos  Frietos,  December  13,  1847, 
and  Lower  California,  at  San  Jose,  February  15, 
1848." 

Before  the  battle  the  old  gun  had  been 
mounted  on  forward  axle  of  a  Jersey  wagon, 
which  a  man  by  the  name  of  Hunt  had  brought 
across  the  plains  the  year  before.  It  was  lashed 
to  the  axle  by  means  of  rawhide  thongs,  and 
was  drawn  by  riatas,  as  described  by  Lieutenant 
Duvall.  The  range  was  obtained  by  raising  or 
lowering  the  pole  of  the  wagon.  Ignacio  Aguilar 
acted  as  gunner,  and  having  neither  lanyard  or 
pent-stock  to  fire  it.  he  touched  off  the  gun  with 
the  lighted  end  of  a  cigarette.  Never  before  or 
since,  perhaps,  was  a  battle  won  with  such  crude 
artillery.  Jose  Antonio  Carrillo  was  in  com- 
mand of  the  Californians.  During  the  skirmish- 
ing of  the  first  day  he  had  between  eighty  and 
ninety  men.  During  the  night  of  the  8th  Flores 
joined  him  with  a  force  of  sixty  men.  Next 
morning  Flores  returned  to  Los  Angeles,  taking 
with  him  twenty  men.  Carrillo's  force  in  the 
battle  numbered  about  one  hundred  and  twenty 
men.  Had  Mervine  known  that  the  Californians 
had  fired  their  last  shot  (their  powder  being  ex- 
hausted! he  could  have  pushed  on  and  captured 
the  pueblo. 

The  expulsion  of  Gillespie's  garrison  from 
Los  Angeles  and  the  defeat  of  Mervine's  force 
raised  the  spirits  of  the  Californians,  and  there 
was  great  rejoicing  at  the  pueblo.  Detachments 
of  Flores'  army  were  kept  at  Sepulveda's  rancho, 
the  Palos  Verdes,  and  at  Temple's  rancho  of  the 
Cerritos,  to  watch  the  Savannah  and  report  any 
attempt  at  landing.  The  leaders  of  the  revolt 
were  1 1  ■  >t  so  sanguine  of  success  as  the  rank  and 
tile.  They  wen-  without  means  to  procure  arms 
and  supplies.  There  was  a  scarcity  of  ammuni- 
tion, too.  An  inferior  article  of  gunpowder  was 
manufactured  in  limited  quantities  at  San 
Gabriel.  The  onl)  uniformity  in  weapons  was 
in  lances.  These  were  rough,  home-made  af- 
fairs, the  blade  beaten  out  of  a  rasp  or  file,  and 
the  shaft  a  willow  pole  about  eight  feet  long. 
These  weapons  were  Formidable  in  a  charge 
against  infantry,  bul  easily  parried  1>\  a  swords- 
man in  a  cavalry  charge. 


After  the  defeat  of  Mervine,  Flores  set  about 
reorganizing  the  territorial  government.  He 
called  together  the  departmental  assembly.  It 
met  at  the  capital  (Los  Angeles)  October  26th. 
The  members  present,  Figueroa,  Botello,  Guerra 
and  Olvera,  were  all  from  the  south.  The  as- 
sembly decided  to  fill  the  place  of  governor, 
vacated  by  Pico,  and  that  of  comandante-gen- 
eral,  left  vacant  by  the  flight  of  Castro. 

Jose  Maria  Flores,  who  was  now  recognized 
as  the  leader  of  the  revolt  against  American  rule, 
was  chosen  to  fill  both  offices,  and  the  two  of- 
fices, as  had  formerly  been  the  custom,  were 
united  in  one  person.  He  chose  Narciso  Bo- 
tello for  his  secretary.  Flores,  who  was  Mex- 
ican born,  was  an  intelligent  and  patriotic  officer. 
He  used  every  means  in  his  power  to  prepare 
his  forces  for  the  coming  conflict  with  the 
Americans,  hut  with  little  success.  The  old 
jealousy  of  the  hijos  del  pais  against  the  Mex- 
ican would  crop  out,  and  it  neutralized  his 
efforts.  There  were  bickerings  and  complaints 
in  the  ranks  and  among  the  officers.  The  na- 
tives claimed  that  a  Californian  ought  to  be 
chief  in  command. 

The  feeling  of  jealousy  against  Flores  at 
length  culminated  in  open  revolt.  Flores  had 
decided  to  send  the  prisoners  taken  at  the  Chino 
tight  to  Mexico.  His  object  was  twofold — first, 
to  enhance  his  own  glory  with  the  Mexican 
government,  and,  secondly,  by  showing  what 
the  Californians  had  already  accomplished  to 
obtain  aid  in  the  coming  conflict.  As  most  of 
these  men  were  married  to  California  wives, 
ami  by  marriage  related  to  many  of  the  leading- 
California  families  of  the  south,  there  was  at 
once  a  family  uproar  and  fierce  denunciations 
of  Flores.  But  as  the  Chino  prisoners  were 
foreigners,  and  had  been  taken  while  fighting 
against  the  Mexican  government,  it  was  neces- 
sary to  disguise  the  hostility  to  Flores  under 
some  other  pretext.  He  was  charged  with  the 
design  of  running  away  to  Sonora  with  the  pub- 
lic funds.  ( )n  the  night  of  December  3,  Francisco 
Rii  0,  .11  the  head  of  a  party  of  Californians,  took 
possession  of  the  cuartel.  or  guard  house,  and 
arrested  Flores.  A  special  session  of  the  as- 
sembly was  called  to  investigate  the  charges. 
Flores   expressed  his   willingness  to  give   up 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


133 


his  purpose  of  sending  the  Chino  prisoners  t<  < 
Mexico,  and  the  assembly  found  no  foundation 
to  the  charge  of  his  design  of  running  away 
with  the  public  funds,  nor  did  they  find  any 
funds  to  run  away  with.  Flores  was  liberated, 
and  Rico  imprisoned  in  turn. 

Flores  was  really  the  last  Mexican  governor 
of  California.  Like  Pico,  he  was  elected  by  the 
territorial  legislature,  but  he  was  not  confirmed 
by  the  .Mexican  congress.  Generals  Scott  and 
Taylor  were  keeping  President  Santa  Anna  and 


his  congress  on  the  move  so  rapidly  they  had  no 
time  to  spare  for  California  affairs. 

Flores  was  governor  from  October  20,  1846, 
to  January  8,  1847. 

With  a  threatened  invasion  by  the  Americans 
and  a  divided  people  within,  it  was  hard  times 
in  the  .old  pueblo.  The  town  had  to  supply 
the  army  with  provisions.  The  few  who  pos- 
sessed money  hid  it  away  and  all  business  was 
suspended  except  preparations  to  meet  the 
invaders. 


CHAPTER   XIX 


THE    FINAL    CONQUEST    OF    CALIFORNIA. 


COMMODORE  STOCKTON,  convinced 
that  the  revolt  of  the  Californians  was 
a  serious  affair,  ordered  Fremont's  bat- 
talion, which  had  been  recruited  to  one  hun- 
dred and  sixty  men,  to  proceed  to  the  south  to 
co-operate  with  him  in  quelling  the  rebellion. 
The  battalion  sailed  on  the  Sterling,  but  shortly 
after  putting  to  sea,  meeting  the  Yandalia.  Fre- 
mont learned  of  Mervine's  defeat  and  also  that 
no  horses  could  be  procured  in  the  lower  coun- 
try; the  vessel  was  put  about  and  the  battalion 
landed  at  Monterey,  October  28.  It  was  decided 
to  recruit  the  battalion  to  a  regiment  and 
mounting  it  to  march  down  the  coast.  Recruit- 
ing was  actively  begun  among  the  newly  ar- 
rived immigrants.  Horses  and  saddles  were 
procured  by  giving  receipts  on  the  government, 
payable  after  the  close  of  the  war  or  by  confisca- 
tion if  it  brought  returns  quicker  than  receipts. 

The  report  of  the  revolt  in  the  south  quickly 
spread  among  the  Californians  in  the  north  and 
they  made  haste  to  resist  their  spoilers.  Manuel 
Castro  was  made  comandante  of  the  military 
forces  of  the  north,  headquarters  at  San  Luis 
Obispo.  Castro  collected  a  force  of  about  one 
hundred  men,  well  mounted  but  poorly  armed. 
His  purpose  was  to  carry  on  a  sort  of  guerrilla 
warfare,  capturing  men  and  horses  from  the 
enemy  whenever  an  opportunity  offered. 

Fremont,  now  raised  to  the  rank  of  lieuten- 
ant colonel   in    the    regular    army    with    head- 


quarters at  Monterey,  was  rapidly  mobilizing  his 
motley  collection  of  recruits  into  a  formidable 
force.  Officers  and  men  were  scouring  the 
country  for  recruits,  horses,  accouterments  and 
supplies.  Two  of  these  recruiting  squads  en- 
countered the  enemy  in  considerable  force  and 
an  engagement  known  as  the  battle  of  Natividad 
ensued.  Capt.  Charles  Burroughs  with  thirty- 
four  men  and  two  hundred  horses,  recruited  at 
Sacramento,  arrived  at  San  Juan  Bautista,  No- 
vember 15,  on  his  way  to  .Monterey  on  the  same 
day  Captain  Thompson,  with  about  the  same 
number  of  men  recruited  at  San  Jose,  reached 
San  Juan.  The  Californians,  with  the  design  of 
capturing  the  horses,  made  a  night  march  from 
their  camp  on  the  Salinas.  At  Gomez  rancho 
they  took  prisoner  Thomas  (  ).  Larkin,  the 
American  consul,  who  was  on  his  way  from 
Monterey  to  San  Francisco  on  official  business. 
On  the  morning  of  the  Kith  the  Americans  be- 
gan their  march  for  Monterey.  At  Gomez 
rancho  their  advance  learned  of  the  presence  of 
the  enemy  and  of  the  capture  of  Larkin.  A 
squad  of  six  or  eight  scouts  was  sent  out  to  find 
the  Californians.  The  scouts  encountered  a 
detachment  of  Castro's  force  at  Encinalitos 
(Little  Oaks)  and  a  fight  ensued.  The  main  body 
of  the  enemy  came  up  and  surrounded  the  -rove 
of  oaks.  The  scouts,  though  greatlj  outnum- 
bered, were  well  armed  with  long  range  rifles  and 
held  the  eneim  a;  bay,  until  Captains  Burroughs 


134 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


and  Thompson  brought  up  their  companies. 
Burroughs,  who  seems  to  have  been  the  ranking 
officer,  hesitated  to  charge  the  Californians,  who 
had  the  superior  force,  and  besides  he  was  fear- 
ful of  losing  his  horses  and  thus  delaying  Fre- 
mont's movements.  But,  taunted  with  cowardice 
and  urged  on  by  Thompson,  a  fire  eater,  who 
was  making  loud  protestations  of  his  bravery, 
Burroughs  ordered  a  charge.  The  Americans, 
badly  mounted,  were  soon  strung  out  in  an  ir- 
regular line.  The  Californians,  who  had  made  a 
feint  of  retreating,  turned  and  attacked  with 
vigor,  Captain  Burroughs  and  four  or  five  others 
were  killed.  The  straggling  line  fell  back  on  the 
main  body  and  the  Californians,  having  ex- 
pended their  ammunition,  retreated.  The  loss 
in  killed  and  wounded  amounted  to  twelve  or 
fifteen  on  each  side. 

The  only  other  engagement  in  the  north  was 
the  bloodless  battle  of  Santa  Clara.  Fremont's 
methods  of  procuring  horses,  cattle  and  other 
supplies  was  to  take  them  and  give  in  payment 
demands  on  the  government,  payable  after  the 
close  of  the  war.  After  his  departure  the  same 
method  was  continued  by  the  officers  of  the 
garrisons  at  San  Francisco,  San  Jose  and  Mon- 
terey. Indeed,  it  was  their  only  method  of  pro- 
curing supplies-  The  quartermasters  were 
without  money  and  the  government  without 
credit.  On  the  8th  of  December  Lieutenant 
Bartlett,  also  alcaide  of  Verba  Buena,  with  a 
squad  of  five  men  started  down  the  peninsula 
toward  San  Jose  to  purchase  supplies.  Fran- 
cisco Sanchez,  a  randier,  whose  horse  and  cattle 
corrals  had  been  raided  by  former  purchasers, 
with  a  band  of  Californians  waylaid  and  cap- 
tured Bartlett  and  his  men.  Other  California 
rancheros  who  had  1< >st  their  stock  in  similar 
raids  rallied  to  the  support  of  Sanchez  and  soon 
he  found  himself  at  the  head  of  one  hundred 
men.  Tin-  object  of  their  organization  was 
rather  to  protect  thi  h  pr  'pert)  than  to  fight.  The 
news  soon  spread  that  the  Californians  had  re- 
volted and  were  preparing  to  massacre  the 
Americans.  Captain  Weber  of  San  Jose  had  a 
company  of  thirty-three  men  organized  for  de- 
fense. There  was  also  a  company  of  twenty 
me  i  under  command  of  Captain  A.ram  stationed 
at  the  ex-mission  of  Santa  Clara.     On  the  _>oth 


of  December,  Capt.  Ward  Marston  with  a  de- 
tachment of  thirty-four  men  and  a  field  piece  in 
charge  of  Master  de  Long  and  ten  sailors  was 
sent  to  Santa  Clara.  The  entire  force  collected 
at  the  seat  of  war  numbered  one  hundred  and 
one  men.  On  January  2  the  American  force 
encountered  the  Californians,  one  hundred 
strong,  on  the  plains  of  Santa  Clara.  Firing  at 
long  range  began  and  continued  for  an  hour  or 
more.  Sanchez  sent  in  a  flag  of  truce  asking  an 
armistice  preparatory  to  the  settlement  of  diffi- 
culties. January  3.  Captain  Aladdox  arrived 
from  Monterey  with  fifty-nine  mounted  men, 
and  on  the  7th  Lieutenant  Grayson  came  with 
fifteen  men.  On  the  8th  a  treaty  of  peace  was 
concluded,  by  which,  the  enemy  surrendered 
Lieutenant  Bartlett  and  all  the  other  prisoners, 
as  well  as  their  arms,  including  a  small  field 
piece  and  were  permitted  to  go  to  their  homes. 
Upon  "reliable  authority"  four  Californians  were 
reported  killed,  but  their  graves  have  never  been 
discovered  nor  did  their  living  relatives,  so  far 
as  known,  mourn  their  loss. 

Stockton  with  his  flagship,  the  Congress,  ar- 
rived at  San  Pedro  on  the  23d  of  October,  1846. 
The  Savannah  was  still  lying  at  anchor  in  the 
harbor.  The  commodore  had  now  at  San  Pedro 
a  force  of  about  eight  hundred  men;  but,  not- 
withstanding the  contemptuous  opinion  he  held 
of  the  Californian  soldiers,  he  did  not  march 
against  the  pueblo.  Stockton  in  his  report 
says:  "Plated  by  this  transient  success  (Mer- 
vine's  defeat),  which  the  enemy  with  his  usual 
want  of  veracity  magnified  into  a  great  victory, 
they  collected  in  large  bodies  on  all  the  adjacent 
hills  and  would  not  permit  a  hoof  except  their 
own  horses  to  be  within  fifty  miles  of  San 
Pedro."  But  "in  the  face  of  their  boasting  in- 
solence" Stockton  landed  and  again  hoisted  "the 
glorious  stars  and  stripes  in  the  presence  of 
their  horse  covered  hills."  "The  enemy  had 
driven  oft"  every  animal,  man  and  beast  from 
that  section  of  the  country;  and  it  was  not  pos- 
sible by  any  means  in  our  power  to  carry  pro- 
\iMons  for  our  march  to  the  city."  The  city 
was  only  thirty  miles  away  and  American  sol- 
diers have  been  known  to  carry  rations  in  their 
haversacks  for  a  march  of  one  hundred  miles. 
Tlie  "transient    success"  of  the  insolent  enemy 


HISTORICAL   AXD    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


loO 


had  evidently  made  an  impression  on  Stockton. 
He  estimated  the  California  force  in  the  vicinity 
of  the  landing  at  eight  hundred  men,  which  was 
just  seven  hundred  too  high.  He  determined 
to  approach  Los  Angeles  by  way  of  San  Diego, 
and  on  the  last  day  of  October  he  sailed  for  that 
port.  B.  D.  Wilson,  Stephen  C.  Foster  and 
others  attribute  Stockton's  abandonment  of  an 
attack  on  Los  Angeles  from  San  Pedro  to  a 
trick  played  on  him  by  Jose  Antonio  Carrillo. 
Carrillo  was  in  command  of  the  detachment 
stationed  at  the  Cerritos  and  the  Palos  Yerdes. 
Carrillo  was  anxious  to  obtain  an  interview  with 
Stockton  and  if  possible  secure  a  cessation  of 
hostilities  until  the  war  then  progressing  in 
Mexico  should  be  decided,  thus  settling  the 
fate  of  California.  B.  D.  Wilson,  one  of  the 
Chino  prisoners,  was  sent  with  a  Mexican  ser- 
geant to  raise  a  white  flag  as  the  boats  of  the 
Congress  approached  the  landing  and  present 
Carrillo's  proposition  for  a  truce.  Carrillo,  with 
the  intention  of  giving  Stockton  an  exaggerated 
idea  of  the  number  of  his  troops  and  thus  ob- 
taining more  favorable  terms  in  the  proposeil 
treaty,  collected  droves  of  wild  horses  from  the 
plains;  these  his  caballeros  kept  in  motion,  pass- 
ing and  repassing  through  a  gap  in  the  hills, 
which  was  in  plain  view  from  Stockton's  vessel. 
Owing  to  the  dust  raised  by  the  cavalcade  it  was 
impossible  to  discover  that  most  of  the  horses 
were  riderless.  The  troops  were  signalled  to  re- 
turn to  the  vessel,  and  the  commodore  shortly 
afterwards  sailed  to  San  Diego.  Carrillo  al- 
ways regretted  that  he  made  too  much  demon- 
stration. 

As  an  illustration  of  the  literary  trash  that 
has  been  palmed  off  for  California  history,  I 
give  an  extract  from  Frost's  Pictorial  History 
of  California,  a  book  written  the  year  after 
the  close  of  the  Mexican  war  by  Prof. 
John  Frost,  a  noted  compiler  of  histories,  who 
writes  LL.  D.  after  his  name.  It  relates  to 
Stockton's  exploits  at  San  Pedro.  "At  the 
Rancho  Sepulveda  (the  Palos  Verdes)  a  large 
force  of  Californians  were  posted,  Commodore 
Stockton  sent  one  hundred  men  Forward  to  re 
ceive  the  fire  of  the  enemy  and  then  fall  back- 
on  the  main  body  without  returning  it.  The 
main  bodv  of  Stockton's  army  was  formed  in  a 


triangle  with  the  guns  hid  by  the  men.  By  the 
retreat  of  the  advance  party  the  enemy  were 
decoyed  close  to  the  main  force,  when  the  wings 
(of  the  triangle)  were  extended  and  a  deadly  fire 
from  the  artillery  opened  upon  the  astonished 
Californians.  More  than  one  hundred  were 
killed,  the  same  number  wounded  and  one  hun- 
dred prisoners  taken."  The  mathematical  ac- 
curacy of  Stockton's  artillerists  was  truly 
astonishing.  They  killed  a  man  for  every  one 
wounded  and  took  a  prisoner  for  every  man 
they  killed.  As  Flores'  army  never  amounted 
to  more  than  three  hundred,  it  we  are  to  believe 
Frost,  Stockton  had  all  the  enemy  '"present  or 
accounted  for."  This  silly  fabrication  of  Frost's 
runs  through  a  number  of  so-called  histories  of 
California.  Stockton  was  a  brave  man  and  a 
very  energetic  commander,  but  he  would  boast 
of  his  achievements,  and  his  reports  are  unre- 
liable. 

As  previously  mentioned,  Fremont  after  his 
return  to  Monterey  proceeded  to  recruit  a  force 
to  move  against  Los  Angeles  by  land  from  Mon- 
terey. His  recruits  were  principally  obtained 
from  the  recently  arrived  immigrants.  Each  man 
was  furnished  with  a  horse  and  was  to  receive 
$25  a  month.  A  force  of  about  four  hundred 
and  fifty  was  obtained.  Fremont  left  Monterey 
November  17  and  rendezvoused  at  San  Juan 
Bautista,  where  he  remained  to  the  29th  of  the 
month  organizing  his  battalion.  (  )n  the  29th 
of  November  he  began  his  inarch  southward  to 
co-operate  with  Stockton  against  Flores. 

After  the  expulsion  of  Gillespie  and  his  men 
from  Los  Angeles,  detachments  from  Flores' 
army  were  sent  to  Santa  Barbara  and  San 
Diego  to  recapture  these  places.  At  Santa  Bar- 
bara Fremont  had  left  nine  men  of  his  battalion 
under  Lieut.  Theodore  Talbot  to  garrison  the 
town  A  demand  was  made  on  the  garrison  to 
surrender  by  Colonel  Garfias  of  Flores'  army. 
Two  hours  were  given  the  Americans  to  decide, 
[nstead  of  surrendering  they  fell  back  into  the 
hills,  where  the)  remained  three  or  four  days, 
hoping  that  reinforcements  might  be  sent  them 
from  Monterey.  Their  only  subsistence  was  the 
flesh  of  an  old  gray  mare  of  Daniel  Hill's  that 
they  captured,  brought  into  camp  and  killed. 
They  secured  one  of  Micheltorena's  cholos  that 


lau 


HISTORICAL   AXD    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


had  remained  in  the  country  and  was  living  in 
a  canon  among  the  hills  for  a  guide.  He  fur- 
nished them  a  horse  to  carry  their  blankets  and 
conducted  them  through  the  mountains  to  the 
San  Joaquin  valley.  Here  the  guide  left  them 
with  the  Indians,  he  returning  to  Santa  Barbara. 
The  Indians  fed  them  on  chia  (wild  flaxseed), 
mush  and  acorn  bread.  They  traveled  down  the 
San  Joaquin  valley.  On  their  journey  they  lived 
on  the  flesh  of  wild  horses,  seventeen  of  which 
they  killed.  After  many  hardships  they  reached 
Monterey  on  the  8th  of  November,  where  they 
joined  Fremont's  battalion. 

Captain  Merritt,  of  Fremont's  battalion,  had 
been  left  at  San  Diego  with  [arty  men  to  hold 
the  town  when  the  battalion  marched  north  to 
co-operate  with  Stockton  against  Los  Angeles. 
Immediately  after  Gillespie's  retreat,  Francisco 
Rico  was  sent  with  fifty  men  to  capture  the 
place.  He  was  joined  by  recruits  at  San  Diego. 
Merritt  being  in  no  condition  to  stand  a  siege, 
took  refuge  on  board  the  American  whale  ship 
Stonington,  which  was  lying  at  anchor.  After 
remaining  on  board  the  Stonington  ten  clays, 
taking  advantage  of  the  laxity  of  discipline 
among  the  Californians,  he  stole  a  march  on 
them,  recapturing  the  town  and  one  piece  of 
artillery.  He  sent  Don  Miguel  de  Pedrorena, 
who  was  one  of  his  allies,  in  a  whale  boat  with 
four  sailors  to  San  Pedro  to  obtain  supplies 
and  assistance.  Pedrorena  arrived  at  San  Pedro 
on  the  13th  of  October  with  Merritt's  dis- 
patches. Captain  Mervine  chartered  the  whale 
ship  Magnolia,  which  was  lying  in  the  San 
Pedro  harbor,  and  dispatched  Lieutenant  Minor, 
.Midshipman  Duvall  and  Morgan  with  thirty- 
three  sailors  and  fifteen  of  Gillespie's  volun- 
teers to  reinforce  Merritt.  They  reached  San 
Diego  on  the  16th.  The  combined  forces  of 
Minor  and  Merritt,  numbering  about  ninety 
men,  put  in  the  greater  part  of  the  next  two 
weeks  in  dragging  cannon  from  the  old  fort 
and  mounting  them  at  their  barracks,  which 
were  located  "ii  the  hill  at  the  edge  of  tile  plain 

on  the  wesl  side  <>f  the  town,  convenienl  to 
water.  They  succeeded  in  mounting  si\  brass 
nine-pounders  and  building  two  bastions  of 
adobes,  taken  from  an  old  house.  There  was 
constant  skirmishing  between  the  hostile  parties. 


but  few  fatalities.  The  Americans  claimed  to 
have  killed  three  of  the  enemy,  and  one  Amer- 
ican was  ambushed  and  killed. 

The  Californians  kept  well  out  of  range,  but 
prevented  the  Americans  from  obtaining  sup- 
plies. Their  provisions  were  nearly  exhausted, 
and  when  reduced  to  almost  the  last  extreme 
they  made  a  successful  foraging  expedition  and 
procured  a  supply  of  mutton.  Midshipman  Du- 
vall thus  describes  the  adventure:  "We  had 
with  us  an  Indian  (chief  of  a  numerous  tribe) 
who,  from  his  knowledge  of  the  country,  we 
thought  could  avoid  the  enemy;  and  getting 
news  of  a  number  of  sheep  about  thirty-five  miles 
to  the  south  on  the  coast,  we  determined  to  send 
him  and  his  companion  to  drive  them  onto  an 
island  which  at  low  tide  connected  with  the 
mainland.  In  a  few  days  a  signal  was  made  on 
the  island,  and  the  boats  of  the  whale  ship 
Stonington,  stationed  off  the  island,  were  sent 
to  it.  Our  good  old  Indian  had  managed, 
through  his  cunning  and  by  keeping  concealed 
in  ravines, to  drive  onto  the  island  about  six  hun- 
dred sheep,  but  his  companion  had  been  caught 
and  killed  by  the  enemy.  I  shall  never  forget 
his  famished  appearance,  but  pride  in  his  Indian 
triumph  could  be  seen  playing  in  his  dark  eyes. 

"For  thirty  or  forty  days  we  were  constantly 
expecting,  from  the  movements  of  the  enemy, 
an  attack,  soldiers  and  officers  sleeping  on  their 
arms  and  ready  for  action.  About  the  1st  of 
November,  Commodore  Stockton  arrived,  and, 
after  landing  Captain  Gillespie  with  his  com- 
pany and  about  forty-three  marines,  he  suddenly 
disappeared,  leaving  Lieutenant  Minor  governor 
of  the  place  and  Captain  Gillespie  command- 
ant."* 

Foraging  continued,  the  whale  ship  Ston- 
ington, which  had  been  impressed  into  the 
government  service,  being  used  to  take  parties 
down  the  coast,  who  made  raids  inland  and 
brought  back  with  them  catties  and  horses. 

Tt  was  probably  on  one  of  these  excursions 
that  the  Hag-making  episode  occurred,  of  which 
there  are  more  versions  than  Homer  had  birth- 
places. The  correct  version  of  the  story  is  as 
follows:      A    party   had   been   sent   under  com- 


*Log  Book  wf  Acting  Lieutenant  Dt 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


i:;7 


mand  of  Lieutenant  Hensley  to  Juan  Bandini's 
rancho  in  Lower  California  to  bring  up  bands 
of  cattle  and  horses.  Bandini  was  an  adherent 
of  the  American  cause.  He  and  his  family  re- 
turned with  the  cavalcade  to  San  Diego.  At 
their  last  camping  place  before  reaching  the 
town,  Hensley,  in  a  conversation  with  Bandini, 
regretted  they  had  no  flag  with  them  to  display 
on  their  entry  into  the  town.  Sehora  Bandini 
volunteered  to  make  one,  which  she  did  from 
red,  white  and  blue  dresses  of  her  children. 
This  flag,  fastened  to  a  staff,  was  carried  at  the 
head  of  the  cavalcade  when  it  made  its  triumphal 
entry  into  San  Diego.  The  Mexican  govern- 
ment confiscated  Bandini's  ranches  in  Lower 
California  on  account  of  his  friendship  to  the 
Americans  during  the  war. 

Skirmishing  continued  almost  daily.  Jose 
Antonio  Carrillo  was  now  in  command  of  the 
Californians,  their  force  numbering  about  one 
hundred  men.  Commodore  Stockton  returned 
and  decided  to  fortify.  Midshipman  Duvall,  in 
the  Log  Book  referred  to  in  the  previous  chap- 
ter, thus  describes  the  fort:  "The  commodore 
now  commenced  to  fortify  the  hill  which  over- 
looked the  town  by  building  a  fort,  constructed 
by  placing  three  hundred  gallon  casks  full  of 
sand  close  together.  The  inclosure  was  twenty 
by  thirty  yards.  A  bank  of  earth  and  small  gravel 
was  thrown  up  in  front  as  high  as  the  top  of 
the  casks  and  a  ditch  dug  around  on  the  outside. 
Inside  a  ball-proof  vault  of  ketch  was  built  out 
of  plank  and  lined  on  the  inside  with  adobes,  on 
top  of  which  a  swivel  was  mounted.  The  en- 
trance was  guarded  by  a  strong  gate,  with  a 
drawbridge  in  front  across  the  ditch  or  moat. 
The  whole  fortification  was  completed  and  the 
guns  mounted  on  it  in  about  three  weeks.  Our 
men  working  on  the  fort  were  on  short  allow- 
ance of  beef  and  wheat,  and  for  a  time  without 
bread,  tea,  sugar  or  coffee,  many  of  them  being 
destitute  of  shoes,  but  there  were  few  com- 
plaints. 

"About  the  1st  of  December,  information  hav- 
ing been  received  that  General  Kearny  was  at 
Warner's  Pass,  about  eighty  miles  distant,  with 
one  hundred  dragoons  on  his  march  to  San 
Diego,  Commodore  Stockton  immediately  sent 
an  escort  of  fifty  men  under  command  of  Cap- 


tain Gillespie,  accompanied  by  Past  Midshipmen 
Beale  and  Duncan,  having  with  them  one  piece 
of  artillery.  They  reached  General  Kearny  with- 
out molestation.  On  the  march  the  combined 
force  was  surprised  by  about  ninety-three  Cal- 
ifornians at  San  Pasqual,  under  command  of 
Andres  Pico,  who  had  been  sent  to  that  part 
of  the  country  to  drive  off  all  the  cattle  and 
horses  to  prevent  us  from  getting  them.  In 
the  battle  that  ensued  General  Kearny  lost  in 
killed  Captains  Johnston  and  Moore  and  Lieu- 
tenant Hammond,  and  fifteen  dragoons.  Seven- 
teen dragoons  were  severely  wounded.  The 
enemy  captured  one  piece  of  artillery.  General 
Kearny  and  Captains  Gillespie  and  Gibson  were 
severely  wounded;  also  one  of  the  engineer  offi- 
cers.   Some  of  the  dragoons  have  since  died." 

"After  the  engagement  ( ieneral  Kearny  took 
position  on  a  hill  covered  with  large  rocks.  It 
was  well  suited  for  defense.  Lieutenant  Godey 
of  Gillespie's  volunteers,  the  night  after  the 
battle,  escaped  through  the  enemy's  line  of  sen- 
tries and  came  in  with  a  letter  from  Captain 
Turner  to  the  commodore.  Whilst  among  the 
rocks,  Past  Midshipman  Beale  and  Kit  Carson 
managed,  under  cover  of  night,  to  pass  out 
through  the  enemy's  ranks,  and  after  three  days' 
and  nights'  hard  marching  through  the  moun- 
tains without  water,  succeeded  in  getting  safely 
into  San  Diego,  completely  famished.  Soon 
after  arriving  Lieutenant  Beale  fainted  away, 
and  for  some  days  entirely  lost  his  reason." 

On  the  night  of  Bealc's  arrival,  December  9, 
about  9  p.  m.,  detachments  of  two  hundred  sail- 
ors and  marines  from  the  Congress  and  Ports- 
mouth, under  the  immediate  command  of  Cap- 
tain Zeilin,  assisted  by  Lieutenants  Gray, 
Hunter,  Renshaw,  Parrish,  Thompson  and 
Tilghman  and  Midshipmen  Duvall  and  Morgan, 
each  man  carrying  a  blanket,  three  pounds  of 
jerked  beef  and  the  same  of  hard-tack,  began 
their  march  to  relieve  General  Kearny.  They 
marched  all  night  and  camped  on  a  chaparral 
covered  mountain  during  the  day.  At  4  p.  m. 
of  the  second  night's  march  they  reached 
Kearny's  camp,  surprising  him.  Godey,  who 
had  been  sent  ahead  to  inform  Kearny  that  as- 
sistance was  coming,  had  been  captured  by  the 


138 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


enemy.  General  Kearny  had  burnt  and  de- 
stroyed all  his  baggage  and  camp  equipage,  sad- 
dles, bridles,  clothing,  etc.,  preparatory  to 
forcing  his  way  through  the  enemy's  line. 
Burdened  with  his  wounded,  it  is  doubtful 
whether  he  could  have  escaped.  Midshipman 
Duvall  says:  "It  would  not  be  a  hazard  of 
opinion  to  say  he  would  have  been  overpowered 
and  compelled  to  surrender."  The  enemy  dis- 
appeared on  the  arrival  of  reinforcements.  The 
relief  expedition,  with  Kearny's  men,  reached 
San  Diego  after  two  days'  march. 

A  brief  explanation  of  the  reason  why  Kearny 
was  at  San  Pasqual  may  be  necessary.  In  June, 
1846,  Gen.  Stephen  W.  Kearny,  commander  of 
the  Army  of  the  West,  as  his  command  was 
designated,  left  Fort  Leavenworth  with  a  force 
of  regulars  and  volunteers  to  take  possession  of 
New  Mexico.  The  conquest  of  that  territory 
was  accomplished  without  a  battle.  Under  or- 
ders from  the  war  department,  Kearny  began  his 
march  to  California  with  a  part  of  his  force  to 
co-operate  with  the  naval  forces  there.  Octo- 
ber 6,  near  Socorro,  N.  M.,  he  met  Kit  Carson 
with  an  escort  of  fifteen  men  en  route  from  Los 
Angeles  to  Washington,  bearing  dispatches 
from  Stockton,  giving  the  report  of  the  con- 
quest of  California.  Kearny  required  Carson  to 
turn  back  and  act  as  his  guide.  Carson  was 
very  unwilling  to  do  so,  as  he  was  within  a  few 
days'  journey  of  his  home  and  family,  from 
whom  he  had  been  separated  for  nearly  two 
years.  He  had  been  guide  for  Fremont  on  his 
exploring  expedition.  He,  however,  obeyed 
Kearny's  orders. 

General  Kearny  sent  back  about  three  hun- 
dred of  his  men,  taking  with  him  one  hundred 
and  twenty.  After  a  toilsome  march  by  way 
of  the  Pima  villages.  Tucson,  the  Gila  and 
across  the  Colorado  desert,  they  reached  the 
Indian  village  of  San  Pasqual  (about  forty  miles 
from  San  Diego),  where  the  battle  was  fought. 
It  was  the  bloodiest  battle  of  the  coiH|iiest ; 
Kearny's  men,  at  daybreak,  riding  on  broken 
down  mules  and  half  broken  horses,  in  an  ir- 
regular and  disorderly  line,  charged  the  Califor- 
nians.  While  the  American  line  was  stretched 
nit  over  the  plain  Capt.  Andres  Pico,  who  was 
in  command,  wheeled  his  column  and  charged 


the  Americans.  A  fierce  hand  to  hand  fight  en- 
sued, the  Californians  using  their  lances  and  lar- 
iats, the  Americans  clubbed  guns  and  sabers.  Of 
Kearny's  command  eighteen  men  were  killed  and 
nineteen  wounded;  three  of  the  wounded  died. 
Only  one,  Capt.  Abraham  R.  Johnston  (a  rela- 
tive of  the  author's),  was  killed  by  a  gunshot; 
all  the  others  were  lanced.  The  mules  to  one 
of  the  howitzers  became  unmanageable  and  ran 
into  the  enemy's  lines.  The  driver  was  killed 
and  the  gun  captured.  One  Californian  was 
captured  and  several  slightly  wounded;  none 
were  killed.  Less  than  half  of  Kearny's  one 
hundred  and  seventy  men*  took  part  in  the 
battle.  His  loss  in  killed  and  wounded  was  fifty 
per  cent  of  those  engaged.  Dr.  John  S.  Grif- 
fin, for  many  years  a  leading  physician  of  Los 
Angeles,  was  the  surgeon  of  the  command. 

The  foraging  expeditions  in  Lower  Califor- 
nia having  been  quite  successful  in  bringing  in 
cattle,  horses  and  mules,  Commodore  Stockton 
hastened  his  preparation  for  marching  against 
Los  Angeles.  The  enemy  obtained  information 
of  the  projected  movement  and  left  for  the 
pueblo. 

"The  Cyane  having  arrived,"  says  Duvall, 
"our  force  was  increased  to  about  six  hundred 
men,  most  of  whom,  understanding  the  drill, 
performed  the  evolutions  like  regular  soldiers. 
Everything  being  ready  for  our  departure,  the 
commodore  left  Captain  Montgomery  and  offi- 
cers in  command  of  the  town,  and  on  the  29th  of 
December  took  up  his  line  of  inarch  for  Los  An- 
geles. General  Kearny  was  second  in  command 
ami  having  the  immediate  arrangement  of  the 
forces,  reserving  for  himself  the  prerogative 
which  his  rank  necessarily  imposed  upon  him. 
(  (wing  to  the  weak  state  of  our  oxen  we  had 
not  crossed  the  dry  bed  of  the  river  San  Diego 
before  they  began  breaking  down,  and  the  carts, 
which  were  thirty  or  forty  in  number,  had  to  be 
dragged  by  the  men.  The  general  urged  on  the 
commodore  that  it  was  useless  to  commence 
such  a  march  as  was  before  us  with  our  present 
means  of  transportation,  but  the  commodore 
insisted  on  performing  at  least  one  day's  march 

♦General  Kearny's  original  force  of  one  hundred  and 
twenty  had  been  increased  by  Gillespie's  command, 
numbering  fifty  men. 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL  RECORD. 


even  if  we  should  have  to  return  the  next  day. 
We  succeeded  in  reaching  the  valley  of  the 
Soledad  that  night  by  dragging  our  carts.  Next 
day  the  commodore  proposed  to  go  six  miles 
farther,  which  we  accomplished,  and  then  con- 
tinued six  miles  farther.  Having  obtained  some 
fresh  oxen,  by  assisting  the  carts  up  hill  we 
made  ten  or  twelve  miles  a  day.  At  San  Luis 
Rey  we  secured  men,  carts  and  oxen,  and  after 
that  our  days'  marches  ranged  from  fifteen  to 
twenty-two  miles  a  day. 

"The  third  day  out  from  San  Luis  Rey  a  white 
flag  was  seen  ahead,  the  bearer  of  which  had  a 
communication  from  Flores,  signing  himself 
'Commander-in-Chief  and  Governor  of  Califor- 
nia,' asking  for  a  conference  for  the  purpose  of 
coming  to  terms,  which  would  be  alike  'honor- 
able to  both  countries.'  The  commodore  refused 
to  answer  him  in  writing,  saying  to  the  bearer 
of  the  truce  that  his  answer  was,  'he  knew  n<> 
such  person  as  Governor  Flores;  that  he  him- 
self was  the  only  governor  in  California;  that 
he  knew  a  rebel  by  that  name,  a  man  who  had 
given  his  parole  of  honor  not  to  take  up  arms 
against  the  government  of  the  United  States, 
who,  if  the  people  of  California  now  in  arms 
against  the  forces  of  the  United  States  would 
deliver  up,  he  (Stockton)  would  treat  with  them 
on  condition  that  they  surrender  their  arms 
and  retire  peaceably  to  their  homes  and  he 
would  grant  them,  as  citizens  of  the  United 
States,  protection  from  further  molestation." 
This  the  embassy  refused  to  entertain,  saying 
'they  would  prefer  to  die  with  Flores  than  to 
surrender  on  such  terms.'  " 

"On  the  8th  of  January,  1847,  tney  met  us  on 
the  banks  of  the  river  San  Gabriel  with  between 
five  and  six  hundred  men  mounted  on  good 
horses  and  armed  with  lances  and  carbines, 
having  also  four  pieces  of  artillery  planted  on 
the  heights  about  three  hundred  and  fifty  yards 
distant  from  the  river.  Owing  to  circumstances 
which  have  occurred  since  the  surrender  of  the 
enemy,  I  prefer  not  mentioning  the  particulars 
uf  this  day's  battle  and  also  that  of  the  da)  Fol 
lowing,  or  of  referring  to  individuals  concerned 
in  the  successful  management  of  our  forces." 
(The  circumstance  to  which   T. untenant    Duvall 


refers  was  undoubtedly  the  quarrel  between 
Stockton  and  Kearny  after  the  capture  of  Los 
Angeles.)  "It  is  sufficient  to  say  that  on  the  8th 
of  January  we  succeeded  in  crossing  the  river 
and  driving  the  enemy  from  the  heights.  Hav- 
ing resisted  all  their  charges,  dismounted  one 
of  their  pieces  and  put  them  to  flight  in  every 
direction,  we  encamped  on  the  ground  they  had 
occupied  during  the  fight. 

"The  next  day  the  Californians  met  us  on  the 
plains  of  the  mesa.  For  a  time  the  fighting  was 
carried  on  by  both  sides  with  artillery,  but  that 
proving  too  hot  for  them  they  concentrated 
their  whole  force  in  a  line  ahead  of  us  and  at  a 
given  signal  divided  from  the  center  and  came 
down  on  us  like  a  tornado,  charging  us  on  all 
sides  at  the  same  time;  but  they  were  effectually 
defeated  and  fled  in  every  direction  in  the  ut- 
most confusion.  Many  of  their  horses  were  left 
dead  on  the  field.  Their  loss  in  the  two  battles, 
as  given  by  Andres  Pico,  second  in  command, 
was  eighty-three  killed  and  wounded;  our  loss, 
three  killed  (one  accidentally),  and  fifteen  or 
twenty  wounded,  none  dangerously.  The  enemy 
abandoned  two  pieces  of  artillery  in  an  Indian 
village  near  by." 

I  have  given  at  considerable  length  Midship- 
man Duvall's  account  of  Stockton's  march  from 
San  Diego  and  of  the  two  battles  fought,  not 
because  it  is  the  fullest  account  of  those  events, 
but  because  it  is  original  historical  matter,  newer 
having  appeared  in  print  before,  and  also  he- 
cause  it  is  the  observations  of  a  participant 
written  at  the  time  the  events  occurred.  In  it 
the  losses  of  the  enemy  are  greatly  exaggerated, 
but  that  was  a  fault  of  his  superior  officers  as 
well.  Commodore  Stockton,  in  his  official  re- 
ports of  the  two  battles,  gives  the  enemy's  loss 
in  killed  and  wounded  "between  seventy  and 
eighty."  And  General  Kearny,  in  his  report  of 
the  battle  of  San  Pasqual,  claimed  it  as  a  vic- 
tory, and  states  that  the  enemy  left  six  di  a 
the  field.  The  actual  loss  of  the  Californians 
in  the  two  battles  I  San  Gabriel  river  and  1  .a 
Mesa)  was  three  killed  and  ten  or  twelve 
wounded.* 


Sepulvcda, 


140 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL  RECORD. 


While  the  events  recorded  in  this  chapter 
were  transpiring  at  San  Diego  and  its  vicinity, 
what  was  the  state  of  affairs  in  the  capital,  Los 
Angeles?  After  the  exultation  and  rejoicing 
over  the  expulsion  of  Gillespie's  garrison,  Mer- 
vine's  defeat  and  the  victory  over  Kearny  at 
San  Pasqual  there  came  a  reaction.  Dissension 
continued  between  the  leaders.  There  was  lack 
of  arms  and  laxity  of  discipline.  The  army  was 
but  little  better  than  a  mob.  Obedience  to  or- 
ders of  a  superior  was  foreign  to  the  nature  of  a 
Californian.  His  wild,  free  life  in  the  saddle 
made  him  impatient  of  all  restraint.  Then  the 
impossibility  of  successful  resistance  against 
the  Americans  became  more  and  more  apparent 
as  the  final  conflict  approached.  Fremont's 
army  was  moving  down  on  the  doomed  city 
from  the  north,  and  Stockton'.-  was  coming  up 
from  the  south.  Either  one  of  these,  in  num- 
bers, exceeded  the  force  that  Flores  could  bring 
into  action;  combined  they  would  crush  him 
out  of  existence.  The  California  troops  were 
greatly  discouraged  and  it  was  with  great  diffi- 
culty that  the  officers  kept  their  men  together. 
There  was  another  and  more  potent  element  of 
disintegration.  Many  of  the  wealthier  natives 
and  all  the  foreigners,  regarding  the  contest  as 
hopeless,  secretly  favored  the  American  cause, 
and  it  was  only  through  fear  of  loss  of  property 
that  they  furnished  Flores  and  his  officers  any 
supplies  for  the  army. 

During  the  latter  part  of  December  and  the 
first  days  of  January  Flores'  army  was  stationed 
at  the  San  Fernando  Mission,  on  the  lookout 
fur  Fremont's  battalion;  but  the  more  rapid 
advance  of  Stockton's  army  compelled  a  change 
of  base.  On  the  6th  and  7th  of  January  Flores 
moved    his    arm}-    back    secretly     through    the 


Cahuenga  Fass,  and,  passing  to  the  southward 
of  the  city,  took  position  where  La  Jaboneria 
(the  soap  factory)  road  crosses  the  San  Gabriel 
river.  Here  his  men  w-ere  stationed  in  the  thick 
willows  to  give  Stockton  a  surprise.  Stockton 
received  information  of  the  trap  set  for  him  and 
after  leaving  the  Los  Coyotes  swung  off  to  the 
right  until  he  struck  the  Upper  Santa  Ana  road. 
The  Californians  had  barely  time  to  effect  a 
change  of  base  and  get  their  cannon  planted 
when  the  Americans  arrived  at  the  crossing. 

Stockton  called  the  engagement  there  the  bat- 
tle of  San  Gabriel  river;  the  Californians  call  it 
the  battle  of  Faso  de  Bartolo,  which  is  the  bet- 
ter name.  The  place  where  the  battle  was  fought 
is  on  bluff  just  south  of  the  Upper  Santa  Ana 
road,  near  where  the  Southern  California 
railroad  crosses  the  old  San  Gabriel  river.  (The 
ford  or  crossing  was  formerly  known  as  Pico's 
Crossing.)  There  was,  at  the  time  of  the  bat- 
tle, but  one  San  Gabriel  river.  The  new  river 
channel  was  made  in  the  great  flood  of  1868. 
'What  Stockton,  Emory,  Duvall  and  other 
American  officers  call  the  battle  of  the  Plains 
of  the  Mesa  the  Californians  call  the  battle  of 
La  Mesa,  which  is  most  decidedly  a  better  name 
than  the  "Plains  of  the  Plain."  It  was  fought  at 
a  ravine,  the  Canada  de  Los  Alisos,  near  the 
southeastern  corner  of  the  Los  Angeles  city 
boundary.  In  these  battles  the  Californians  had 
four  pieces  of  artillery,  two  iron  nine-pounders, 
the  old  woman's  gun  and  the  howitzer  captured 
in  mi  Kearny.  Their  powder  was  very  poor.  It 
was  made  at  San  Gabriel.  It  was  owing  to  this 
that  they  did  so  little  execution  in  the  fight. 
That  the  Californians  escaped  with  so  little 
punishment  was  probably  due  to  the  wretched 
marksmanship  of  Stockton's  sailors  and  marines. 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


CHAPTER   XX. 

CAPTURE    AND    OCCUPATION    OF    THE    CAPITAL. 


J\  FTER  the  battle  of  La  Mesa,  the  Amer- 
T  V  icans,  keeping  to  the  south,  crossed  the 
A  Los   Angeles   river   at   about   the   point 

where  the  south  boundary  line  of  the  city 
crosses  it  and  camped  on  the  right  bank.  Here, 
under  a  willow  tree,  those  killed  in  battle  were 
buried.  Lieutenant  Emory,  in  his  "Notes  of  a 
.Military  Reconnoissance,"  says:  "The  town, 
known  to  contain  great  quantities  of  wine  and 
aguardiente,  was  four  miles  distant  (four  miles 
from  the  battlefield).  From  previous  experience 
of  the  difficulty  of  controlling  men  when  enter- 
ing towns,  it  was  determined  to  cross  the  river 
San  Fernando  (Los  Angeles),  halt  there  for 
the  night  and  enter  the  town  in  the  morning, 
with  the  whole  day  before  us. 

"After  we  had  pitched  our  camp,  the  enemy 
came  down  from  the  hills,  and  four  hundred 
horsemen  with  four  pieces  of  artillery  drew  off 
towards  the  town,  in  order  and  regularity,  whilst 
about  sixty  made  a  movement  down  the  river  on 
our  rear  and  left  flank.  This  led  us  to  suppose 
they  were  not  yet  whipped,  as  we  thought,  and 
that  we  should  have  a  night  attack. 

"January  10  (1847) — .  Just  as  we  had  raised 
our  camp,  a  flag  of  truce,  borne  by  Air.  Celis,  a 
Castilian;  Mr.  Workman,  an  Englishman,  and 
Alvarado,  the  owner  of  the  rancho  at  the  Alisos, 
was  brought  into  camp.  They  proposed,  on 
behalf  of  the  Californians,  to  surrender  their 
dear  City  of  the  Angels  provided  we  would  re- 
spect property  and  persons.  This  was  agreed 
to.  but  not  altogether  trusting  to  the  honesty 
of  General  Flores,  who  had  once  broken  his 
parole,  we  moved  into  the  town  in  the  same 
order  we  should  have  done  if  expecting  an  at- 
tack. It  was  a  wise  precaution,  for  the  streets 
were  full  of  desperate  and  drunken  fellows,  who 
brandished  their  arms  and  saluted  us  with  every 
term  of  reproach.  The  crest,  overlooking  the 
town,  in  rifle  range,  was  covered  with  horsemen 
engaged  in  the  same  hospitable  manner. 


"Our  men  marched  steadily  on,  until  crossing 
the  ravine  leading  into  the  public  square  (plaza), 
when  a  fight  took  place  amongst  the  Califor- 
nians on  the  hill;  one  became  disarmed  and  to 
avoid  death  rolled  down  the  hill  towards  us, 
his  adversary  pursuing  and  lancing  him  in  the 
most  cold-blooded  manner.  The  man  tumbling 
down  the  hill  was  supposed  to  be  one  of  our 
vaqueros,  and  the  cry  of  'rescue  him'  was 
raised.  The  crew  of  the  Cyane,  nearest  the 
scene,  at  once  and  without  any  orders,  halted 
and  gave  the  man  that  was  lancing  him  a  volley; 
strange  to  say,  he  did  not  fall.  The  general 
gave  the  jack  tars  a  cursing,  not  so  much  for 
the  firing  without  orders,  as  for  their  bad  marks- 
manship." 

Shortly  after  the  above  episode,  the  Cali- 
fornians did  open  fire  from  the  hill  on  the 
vaqueros  in  charge  of  the  cattle.  (These 
vaqueros  were  Californians  in  the  employ  of  the 
Americans  and  were  regarded  by  their  country- 
men as  traitors.)  A  company  of  riflemen  was 
ordered  to  clear  the  hill.  A  single  volley  ef- 
fected this,  killing  two  of  the  enemy.  This  was 
the  last  bloodshed  in  the  war;  and  the  second 
conquest  of  California  was  completed  as  the  first 
had  been  by  the  capture  of  Los  Angeles..  Two 
hundred  men.  with  two  pieces  of  artillery,  were 
stationed  on  the  hill. 

The  Angelehos  did  not  exactly  welcome  the 
invaders  with  "bloody  hands  to  inhospitable 
graves,"  but  they  did  their  best  to  let  them  know 
they  were  not  wanted.  The  better  class  of  the 
native  inhabitants  closed  their  houses  and  took 
refuge  with  foreign  residents  or  went  to  the 
ranchos  of  their  friends  in  the  country.  The 
fellows  of  the  baser  sort,  who  were  in  pos- 
session of  the  city,  exhausted  their  vocabularies 
of  abuse  on  the  invading  gringos.  There  was 
1  ne  paisano  who  excelled  all  his  countrymen  in 
this  species  of  warfare.  It  is  a  pity  his  name 
has   not   been   preserved   in   history  with   that  of 


142 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


other  famous  scolds  and  kickers.  He  rode  by 
the  side  of  the  advancing  column  up  Main  street, 
firing  volleys  of  invective  and  denunciation  at 
the  hated  gringos.  At  certain  points  of  his 
tirade  he  worked  himself  to  such  a  pitch  of 
indignation  that  language  failed  him;  then  he 
would  solemnly  go  through  the  motions  of 
"Make  ready,  take  aim!"  with  an  old  shotgun 
he  carried,  but  when  it  came  to  the  order  "Fire!" 
discretion  got  the  better  of  his  valor;  he  low- 
ered his  gun  and  began  again,  firing  invective 
at  the  gringo  soldiers;  his  mouth  would  go  off 
if  his  gun  would  not. 

Commodore  Stockton's  headquarters  were  in 
the  Abila  house,  the  second  house  on  Olvera 
street,  north  of  the  plaza.  The  building  is  still 
standing,  but  has  undergone  many  changes  in 
fifty  years.  A  rather  amusing  account  was  re- 
cently given  me  by  an  old  pioneer  of  the  manner 
in  which  Commodore  Stockton  got  possession 
of  the  house.  The  widow  Abila  and  her  daugh- 
ters, at  the  approach  of  the  American  army,  had 
abandoned  their  house  and  taken  refuge  with 
Don  Luis  Yignes  of  the  Aliso.  Yignes  was  a 
Frenchman  and  friendly  to  both  sides.  The 
widow  left  a  young  Californian  in  charge  of  her 
house  (which  was  finely  furnished),  with  strict 
orders  to  keep  it  closed.  Stockton  had  with  him 
a  fine  brass  band,  something  new  in  California. 
When  the  troops  halted  on  the  plaza,  the  band 
began  to  play.  The  boyish  guardian  of  the 
Abila  casa  could  not  resist  the  temptation  to 
open  the  door  and  look  out.  The  enchanting 
music  drew  him  to  the  plaza.  Stockton  and  his 
staff,  hunting  for  a  place  suitable  for  headquar- 
ters, passing  by,  found  the  door  invitingly  open, 
entered,  and,  finding  the  house  deserted,  took 
-ion.  The  recreant  guardian  returned  to 
find  himself  dispossessed  and  the  house  in  pos- 
-I  ssion  nf  the  enemy.    "And  the  band  played  on." 

It  is  a  fact  not  generall)  known  thai  there 
were  two  forts  planned  and  partially  built  on 
Fori  Hill  during  the  war  for  the  conquesl  of 
California.  The  firsl  was  planned  by  Lieut.  Wil- 
liam H.  Emory,  topographical  engineer  of  Gen- 
eral Kearny's  staff,  and  work  was  begun  on  il 
by  Commodore  Stockton's  sailors  and  marines. 
The  second  was  planned  by  Lieut.  J.  W.  David- 
of  the  First   United  States  Dragoons,  and 


built  by  the  Mormon  battalion.  The  first  was 
not  completed  and  not  named.  The  second  was 
named  Fort  Moore.  Their  location  seems  to 
have  been  identical.  The  first  was  designed  to 
hold  one  hundred  men.  The  second  was  much 
larger.  Flores'  army  was  supposed  to  be  in  the 
neighborhood  of  the  city  ready  to  make  a  dash 
into  it,  so  Stockton  decided  to  fortify. 

"On  January  nth,"  Lieutenant  Emory  writes, 
"I  was  ordered  to  select  a  site  and  place  a  fort 
capable  of  containing  a  hundred  men.  \\  ith 
this  in  view  a  rapid  reconnoissance  of  the  town 
was  made  and  the  plan  of  a  fort  sketched,  so 
placed  as  to  enable  a  small  garrison  to  com- 
mand the  town  and  the  principal  avenues  to  it. 
the  plan  was  approved." 

"January  12.  I  laid  off  the  work  and  before 
night  broke  the  first  ground.  The  population 
of  the  town  and  its  dependencies  is  about  three 
thousand;  that  of  the  town  itself  about  fifteen 
hundred.  *  *  *  Here  all  the  revolutions 
have  had  their  origin,  and  it  is  the  point  upon 
which  any  Mexican  force  from  Sonora  would 
be  directed.  Tt  was  therefore  desirable  to  estab- 
lish a  fort  which,  in  case  of  trouble,  should  en- 
able a  small  garrison  to  hold  out  till  aid  might 
come  from  San  Diego,  San  Francisco  or  Mon- 
terey, places  which  are  destined  to  become  cen- 
ters of  American  settlements." 

"January  13.  It  rained  steadily  all  day  and 
nothing  was  done  on  the  work.  At  night  I 
worked  on  the  details  of  the  fort." 

"January  15.  The  details  to  work  on  the 
fort  were  by  companies.  I  sent  to  Captain 
Tilghman,  who  commanded  on  the  hill,  to  de- 
tach one  of  the  companies  under  his  command 
to  commence  the  work.  He  furnished,  on  the 
16th,  a  company  of  artillery  (seamen  from  the 
Congress)  for  the  day's  work,  which  was  per- 
formed bravely,  and  gave  me  great  hopes  of 
success." 

On  the  iNth  Lieutenant  Emory  took  his  de- 
parture with  General  Kearny  for  San  Diego. 
From  there  he  was  sent  with  despatches,  via 
Panama,  to  the  war  department.  In  his  book 
he  says:  "Subsequent  to  my  departure  the  en- 
tire plan  of  the  Fori  was  changed,  and  I  am  not 
the  projector  of  the  work  finally  adopted  for 
defense  of  that  town." 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


As  previously  stated,  Fremont's  battalion 
began  its  march  down  the  coast  on  the  29th  of 
November,  1846.  The  winter  rains  set  in  with 
great  severity.  The  volunteers  were  scantily 
provided  with  clothing  and  the  horses  were  in 
poor  condition.  Many  of  the  horses  died  of 
starvation  and  hard  usage.  The  battalion  en- 
countered no  opposition  from  the  enemy  on  its 
march  and  did  no  fighting.  On  the  nth  of 
January,  a  few  miles  above  San  Fernando,  Colo- 
nel Fremont  received  a  message  from  General 
Kearny  informing  him  of  the  defeat  of  the 
enemy  and  the  capture  of  Los  Angeles.  That 
night  the  battalion  encamped  in  the  mission 
buildings  at  San  Fernando.  From  the  mission 
that  evening  Jesus  Pico,  a  cousin  of  Gen.  An- 
dres Pico,  set  out  to  find  the  Californian  army 
and  open  negotiations  with  its  leaders.  Jesus 
Pico,  better  known  as  Tortoi,  had  been  arrested 
at  his  home  near  San  Luis  Obispo,  tried  by 
court-martial  and  sentenced  to  be  shot  for 
breaking  his  parole.  Fremont,  moved  by  the 
pleadings  of  Pico's  wife  and  children,  pardoned 
him.  He  became  a  warm  admirer  and  devoted 
friend  of  Fremont's. 

He  found  the  advance  guard  of  the  Califor- 
nians  encamped  at  Yerdugas.  He  was  detained 
here,  and  the  leading  officers  of  the  army  were 
summoned  to  a  council.  Fico  informed  them 
of  Fremont's  arrival  and  the  number  of  his  men. 
With  the  combined  forces  of  Fremont  and 
Stockton  against  them,  their  cause  was  hopeless. 
He  urged  them  to  surrender  to  Fremont,  as  they 
could  obtain  better  terms  from  him  than  from 
Stockton. 

General  Flores,  who  held  a  commission  in  the 
Mexican  army,  and  who  had  been  appointed  by 
the  territorial  assembly  governor  and  comand- 
ante-general  by  virtue  of  his  rank,  appointed 
Andres  Pico  general  and  gave  him  command 
of  the  army.  The  same  night  he  took  his  de- 
parture for  Mexico,  by  way  of  San  Gorgonio 
Pass,  accompanied  by  Colonel  Garfias,  Diego 
Sepulveda,  Manuel  Castro,  Segura,  and  about 
thirty  privates.  General  Pico,  on  assuming  com- 
mand, appointed  Francisco  Rico  and  Francisco 
do  La  Guerra  to  go  with  Jesus  Pico  to  confer 
with  Colonel  Fremont.  Fremont  appointed  as 
commissioners  to  negotiate  a  treaty,  Major  P. 


I!.  Reading,  Major  William  II.  Russell  and 
Capt.  Louis  McLane.  On  the  return  of  Guerra 
and  Rico  to  the  Californian  camp,  Gen.  Andres 
Pico  appointed  as  commissioners,  Jose  Antonio 
Carrillo,  commander  of  the  cavalry  squadron, 
and  Agustin  Olvera,  diputado  of  the  assembly, 
and  moved  his  army  near  the  river  at  Cahuenga. 
On  the  13th  Fremont  moved  his  camp  to  the 
Cahuenga.  The  commissioners  met  in  the  de- 
serted ranch-house,  and  the  treaty  was  drawn 
up  and  signed. 

The  principal  conditions  of  the  treaty  or  ca- 
pitulation of  "Cahuenga,"  as  it  was  termed,  were 
that  the  Californians,  on  delivering  up  their  ar- 
tillery and  public  arms,  and  promising  not  again 
to  take  arms  during  the  war,  and  conforming 
to  the  laws  and  regulations  of  the  United  States, 
shall  be  allowed  peaceably  to  return  to  their 
homes.  They  were  to  be  allowed  the  same  rights 
and  privileges  as  are  allowed  to  citizens  of  the 
United  States,  and  were  not  to  be  compelled 
to  take  an  oath  of  allegiance  until  a  treat v  of 
peace  was  signed  between  the  United  States  and 
Mexico,  and  were  given  the  privilege  of  leaving 
the  country  if  they  wished  to.  An  additional 
section  was  added  to  the  treaty  on  the  16th  at 
Los  Angeles  releasing  the  officers  from  their 
paroles.  Two  cannon  were  surrendered,  the 
howitzer  captured  from  General  Kearny  at  San 
Pasqual  and  the  woman's  gun  that  won  the  bat- 
tle of  Dominguez.  On  the  14th,  Fremont's  bat- 
talion marched  through  the  Cahuenga  Pass  to 
Los  Angeles  in  a  pouring  rainstorm,  and  en- 
tered it  four  days  after  its  surrender  to  Stock- 
ton. The  conquest  of  California  was  com- 
pleted. Stockton  approved  the  treaty,  although 
it  w-as  not  altogether  satisfactory  to  him.  On 
the  1 6th  he  appointed  Colonel  Fremont  gov- 
ernor of  the  territory,  and  William  II.  Russell, 
of  the  battalion,  secretary  of  state. 

This  precipitated  a  quarrel  between  Stockton 
and  Kearny,  which  had  been  brewing  for 
time.  General  Kearny  claimed  that  under  his 
instructions  from  the  government  he  should  be 
recognized  as  governor.  As  he  had  directly  under 
his  command  but  the  one  company  of  drag 
that  he  brought  across  the  plain  with  him,  lie 
was  unable  to  enforce  his  authority.  lie  left  on 
(lie    [8th    for    San    DiegO,    taking    witli    him    his 


144 


HISTORICAL  AXD   BIOGRAPHICAL  RECORD. 


officers  and  dragoons.  On  the  20th  Commo-  join  their  ships.  Shortly  afterwards  Commo- 
dore Stockton,  with  his  sailors  and  marines,  dore  Stockton  was  superseded  in  the  command 
marched  to  San  Pedro,  where  they  all  em-  of  the  Pacific  squadron  by  Commodore  Shu- 
barked  on  a  man-of-war  for  San  Diego  to  re-  brick. 


CHAPTER   XXI. 


TRANSITION    AND    TRANSFORMATION. 


THE  capitulation  of  Gen.  Andres  Pico  at 
Cahuenga  put  an  end  to  the  war  in  Cali- 
fornia. The  instructions  from  the  secre- 
tary of  war  were  to  pursue  a  policy  of  concilia- 
tion towards  the  Californians  with  the  ultimate 
design  of  transforming  them  into  American  citi- 
zens. Colonel  Fremont  was  left  in  command  at 
Los  Angeles.  He  established  his  headquarters 
on  the  second  floor  of  the  Bell  block  (corner  of 
Los  Angeles  and  Aliso  streets),  then  the  best 
building  in  the  city.  One  company  of  his  bat- 
talion was  retained  in  the  city;  the  others,  under 
command  of  Captain  Owens,  were  quartered  at 
the  Mission  San  Gabriel. 

The  Mormons  had  been  driven  out  of  Illinois 
and  Missouri.  A  sentiment  of  antagonism  had 
been  engendered  against  them  and  they  had 
begun  their  migration  to  the  far  west,  pre- 
sumably to  California.  They  were  encamped  on 
the  Missouri  river  at  Kanesville,  now  Council 
Bluffs,  preparatory  to  cross'ng  the  plains,  when 
hostilities  broke  out  between  the  United  States 
and  Mexico,  in  April,  1846.  A  proposition  was 
made  by  President  Polk  to  their  leaders  to  raise 
a  battalion  of  five  hundred  men  to  serve  as 
United  States  volunteers  for  twelve  months. 
These  volunteers,  under  command  of  regular 
army  officers,  were  to  march  to  Santa  Fe,  or, 
if  necessary,  to  California,  where,  at  the  expira- 
tion of  their  term  of  enlistment,  they  were  to  be 
discharged  and  allowed  to  retain  their  arms. 
Through  the  influence  of  Brigham  Yottng  and 
other  leaders,  the  battalion  was  recruited  and 
General  Kearny,  commanding  the  Army  of  the 
West,  detailed  Capt.  James  Allen,  of  the  First 
United  States  Dragoons,  to  muster  them  into 
the  service  and  take  command  of  the  battalion. 
On  the  if>th  of  July,  at  Council  Bluffs,  the  bat- 


talion was  mustered  into  service  and  on  the  14th 
of  August  it  began  its  long  and  weary  march. 
About  eighty  women  and  children,  wives  and 
families  of  the  officers  and  some  of  the  enlisted 
men,  accompanied  the  battalion  on  its  march. 
Shortly  after  the  beginning  of  the  march,  Allen, 
who  had  been  promoted  to  lieutenant-colonel, 
fell  sick  and  died.  The  battalion  was  placed 
temporarily  under  the  command  of  Lieut.  A.  J. 
Smith,  of  the  regular  army.  At  Santa  Fe 
Lieut.-Col.  Philip  St.  George  Cooke  took  com- 
mand under  orders  from  General  Kearny.  The 
battalion  was  detailed  to  open  a  wagon  road  by 
the  Gila  route  to  California.  About  sixty  of 
the  soldiers  who  had  become  unfit  for  duty  and 
all  the  women  except  five  were  sent  back  and 
the  remainder  of  the  force,  after  a  toilsome  jour- 
ney, reached  San  Luis  Rev,  Cal.,  January  29, 
1847,  where  it  remained  until  ordered  to  Los 
Angeles,  which  place  it  reached  March  17. 

Captain  Owens,  in  command  of  Fremont's 
battalion,  had  moved  all  the  artillery,  ten  pieces, 
from  Los  Angeles  to  San  Gabriel,  probably  with 
the  design  of  preventing  it  falling  into  the  hands 
of  Colonel  Cooke,  who  was  an  adherent  of 
General  Kearny.  General  Kearny,  under  addi- 
tional instructions  from  the  general  government, 
brought  by  Colonel  Mason  from  the  war  depart- 
ment, had  established  himself  as  governor  at 
Monterey.  With  a  governor  in  the  north  and 
one  in  the  south,  antagonistic  to  each  other 
California  had  fallen  back  to  its  normal  condi- 
tion under  Mexican  rule.  Colonel  Cooke, 
shortly  after  his  arrival  in  the  territory,  thus  de- 
scribes the  condition  prevailing:  "General 
Kearny  is  supreme  somewhere  up  the  coast. 
Colonel  Fremont  is  supreme  at  Pueblo  de  Los 
Angeles:    Colonel   Stockton   is   commander-in- 


HISTORICAL  AXD   BIOGRAPHICAL  RECORD. 


11.- 


chief  at  San  Diego;  Commodore  Shubrick  the 
same  at  Monterey ;  and  I  at  San  Lnis  Rev ;  and 
we  are  all  supremely  poor,  the  government  hav- 
ing no  money  and  no  credit,  and  we  hold  the 
territory  because  Mexico  is  the  poorest  of  all." 

Col.  R.  B.  Mason  was  appointed  inspector  of 
the  troops  in  California  and  made  an  official 
visit  to  Los  Angeles.  In  a  misunderstanding 
about  some  official  matters  he  used  insulting 
language  to  Colonel  Fremont.  Fremont 
promptly  challenged  him  to  fight  a  duel.  The 
challenge  was  accepted;  double-barreled  shot- 
guns were  chosen  as  the  weapons  and  the 
Rancho  Rosa  del  Castillo  as  the  place  of  meet- 
ing. Mason  was  summoned  north  and  the  duel 
was  postponed  until  his  return.  General  Kearny, 
hearing  of  the  proposed  affair  of  honor,  put  a 
stop  to  further  proceedings  by  the  duelists. 

Col.  Philip  St.  George  Cooke,  of  the  Mormon 
battalion,  was  made  commander  of  the  military 
district  of  the  south  with  headquarters  at  Los 
Angeles.  Fremont's  battalion  was  mustered  out 
of  service.  The  Mormon  soldiers  and  the  two 
companies  of  United  States  Dragoons  who 
came  with  General  Kearny  were  stationed  at 
Los  Angeles  to  do  guard  duty  and  prevent  any 
uprising  of  the  natives. 

Colonel  Fremont's  appointment  as  governor 
of  California  had  never  been  recognized  by 
General  Kearny.  So  when  the  general  had 
made  himself  supreme  at  Monterey  he  ordered 
Fremont  to  report  to  him  at  the  capital  and 
turn  over  the  papers  of  his  governorship.  Fre- 
mont did  so  and  passed  out  of  office.  He  was 
nominally  governor  of  the  territory  about  two 
months.  His  appointment  was  made  by  Com- 
modore Stockton,  but  was  never  confirmed  by 
the  president  or  secretary  of  war.  -His  jurisdic- 
tion did  not  extend  beyond  Los  Angeles.  He 
left  Los  Angeles  May  12  for  Monterey.  From 
that  place,  in  company  with  General  Kearny. 
on  May  31,  he  took  his  departure  for  the  states. 
The  relations  between  the  two  were  strained. 
While  ostensibly  traveling  as  one  company, 
each  officer,  with  his  staff  and  escort,  made  sep- 
arate camps.  At  Fort  Leavenworth  General 
Kearny  placed  Fremont  under  arrest  and  pre- 
ferred charges  against  him  for  disobedience  of 
orders.    He  was  tried  by  court-martial  at  Wash- 


ington and  was  ably  defended  by  his  father-in- 
law,  Colonel  Benton,  and  his  brother-in-law, 
William  Carey  Jones.  The  court  found  him 
guilty  and  fixed  the  penalty,  dismissal  from  the 
service.  President  Polk  remitted  the  penalty 
and  ordered  Colonel  Fremont  to  resume  his 
sword  and  report  for  duty.  He  did  so,  but 
shortly  afterward  resigned  his  commission  and 
left  the  army. 

While  Colonel  Cooke  was  in  command  of 
the  southern  district  rumors  reached  Los  An- 
geles that  the  Mexican  general,  Bustamente, 
with  a  force  of  fifteen  hundred  men,  was  pre- 
paring to  reconquer  California.  "Positive  infor- 
mation," writes  Colonel  Cooke,  under  date  of 
April  20,  1847,  "has  been  received  that  the 
Mexican  government  has  appropriated  $600,000 
towards  fitting  out  this  force."  It  was  also  re- 
ported that  cannon  and  military  stores  had  been 
landed  at  San  Vicente,  in  Lower  California. 
Rumors  of  an  approaching  army  came  thick  and 
fast.  The  natives  were  supposed  to  be  in  league 
with  Bustamente  and  to  be  secretly  preparing 
for  an  uprising.  Precautions  were  taken  against 
a  surprise.  A  troop  of  cavalry  was  sent  to 
Warner's  ranch  to  patrol  the  Sonora  road  as 
far  as  the  desert.  The  construction  of  a  fort 
on  the  hill  fully  commanding  the  town,  which 
had  previously  been  determined  upon,  was 
begun  and  a  company  of  infantry  posted  on 
the  hill. 

On  the  23d  of  April,  three  months  after  work 
had  ceased  on  Emory's  fort,  the  construction  of 
the  second  fort  was  begun  and  pushed  vigor- 
ously. Rumors  continued  to  come  of  the  ap- 
proach of  the  enemy.  May  3,  Colonel  Cooke 
writes:  "A  report  was  received  through  the 
most  available  sources  of  information  that  Gen- 
eral Bustamente  hail  crossed  the  Gulf  of  Cali- 
fornia near  its  head,  in  boats  of  the  pearl  fishers, 
and  at  last  information  was  at  a  rancho  on  the 
western  road,  seventy  leagues  below  San 
Diego."  Colonel  Stevenson's  regimenl  of  New 
York  volunteers  had  recently  arrived  in  Cali- 
fornia. Two  companies  of  tin'  regiment  had 
been  sent  to  Los  Angeles  and  two  to  San 
Diego.  The  report  that  Colonel  Cooke  had  re- 
ceived reinforcement  and  that  ]  les  was 
being  fortified  was  supposed   to  have  frightened 


140 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


Bustamente  into  abandoning  his  invasion  of 
California.  Bustamente's  invading  army  was 
largely  the  creation  of  somebody's  fertile  imag- 
ination. The  scare,  however,  had  the  effect  of 
hurrying  up  work  on  the  fort.  May  13,  Colo- 
nel Cooke  resigned  and  Col.  J.  B.  Stevenson 
succeeded  him  in  the  command  of  the  southern 
military  district. 

Colonel  Stevenson  continued  work  on  the 
fort  and  on  the  1st  of  July  work  had  progressed 
so  far  that  he  decided  to  dedicate  and  name  it 
on  the  4th.  He  issued  an  official  order  for  the 
celebration  of  the  anniversary  of  the  birthday  of 
American  independence  at  this  port,  as  he  called 
Los  Angeles.  "At  sunrise  a  Federal  salute  will 
be  fired  from  the  field  work  on  the  hill  which 
commands  this  town  and  for  the  first  time  from 
this  point  the  American  standard  will  be  dis- 
played. At  11  o'clock  all  the  troops  of  the 
district,  consisting  of  the  Mormon  battalion,  the 
two  companies  of  dragoons  and  two  companies 
of  the  New  York  volunteers,  were  formed  in  a 
hollow  square  at  the  fort.  The  Declaration  of 
Independence  was  read  in  English  by  Captain 
Stuart  Taylor  and  in  Spanish  by  Stephen  C. 
Foster.  The  native  Californians,  seated  on  their 
horses  in  rear  of  the  soldiers,  listened  to  Don 
Esteban  as  he  rolled  out  in  sonorous  Spanish  the 
Declaration's  arraignment  of  King  George  III., 
and  smiled.  They  had  probably  never  heard  of 
King  George  or  the  Declaration  of  Independ- 
ence, either,  but  they  knew  a  pronunciamiento 
when  they  heard  it,  and  after  a  pronunciamiento 
in  their  governmental  system  came  a  revolution, 
therefore  they  smiled  at  the  prospect  of  a  gringo 
revolution.  "At  the  close  of  this  ceremony 
(reading  of  the  Declaration)  the  field  work  will 
be  dedicated  and  appropriately  named;  and  at 
12  o'clock  a  national  salute  will  be  fired.  The 
field  work  at  this  post  having  been  planned  and 
the  work  conducted  entirely  by  Lieutenant  Da- 
vidson of  the  First  Dragoons,  he  is  requested 
to  hoist  upon  it  for  the  first  time  on  the  morn- 
ing of  the  4th  the  American  standard."  *  *  * 
The  commander  directs  that  from  and  after  the 
4th  instant  the  fort  shall  bear  the  name  of 
Moure.  Benjamin  D.  Moore,  after  whom  the  fort 
was  named,  was  captain  of  Company  A,  First 
United  States  Dragoons.     He  was  killed  by  a 


lance  thrust  in  the  disastrous  charge  at  the  bat- 
tle of  San  Pasqual.  This  fort  was  located  on 
what  is  now  called  Fort  Hill,  near  the  geograph- 
ical center  of  Los  Angeles.  It  was  a  breastwork 
about  four  hundred  feet  long  with  bastions  and 
embrasures  for  cannon.  The  principal  em- 
brasure commanded  the  church  and  the  plaza, 
two  places  most  likely  to  be  the  rallying  points 
in  a  rebellion.  It  was  built  more  for  the  sup- 
pression of  a  revolt  than  to  resist  an  invasion. 
It  was  in  a  commanding  position;  two  hundred 
men,  about  its  capacity,  could  have  defended  it 
against  a  thousand  if  the  attack  came  from  the 
front;  but  as  it  was  never  completed,  in  an  at- 
tack from  the  rear  it  could  easily  have  been  cap- 
tured with  an  equal  force. 

Col.  Richard  B.  Mason  succeeded  General 
Kearny  as  commander-in-chief  of  the  troops 
and  military  governor  of  California.  Col.  Philip 
St.  George  Cooke  resigned  command  of  the 
military  district  of  the  south  May  13,  joined 
General  Kearny  at  Monterey  and  went  east 
with  him.  As  previously  stated,  Col.  J.  D.  Ste- 
venson, of  the  New  York  volunteers,  succeeded 
him.  His  regiment,  the  First  New  York,  but 
really  the  Seventh,  had  been  recruited  in  the 
eastern  part  of  the  state  of  New  York  in  the 
summer  of  1846,  for  the  double  purpose  of  con- 
quest and  colonization.  The  United  States  gov- 
ernment had  no  intention  of  giving  up  California 
once  it  was  conquered,  and  therefore  this  regi- 
ment came  to  the  coast  well  provided  with  pro- 
visions and  implements  of  husbandry.  It  came 
to  California  via  Cape  Horn  in  three  transports. 
The  first  ship,  the  Perkins,  arrived  at  San 
Francisco,  March  6,  1847;  the  second,  the  Drew, 
March  19;  and  the  third,  the  Loo  Choo,  March 
26.  Hostilities  had  ceased  in  California  before 
their  arrival.  Two  companies,  A  and  B,  under 
command  of  Lieutenant-Colonel  Burton,  were 
sent  to  Lower  California,  where  they  saw  hard 
service  and  took  part  in  several  engagements. 
The  other  companies  of  the  regiment  were  sent 
to  different  towns  in  Alta  California  to  do  gar- 
rison duty. 

Another  military  organization  that  reached 
California  after  the  conquest  was  Company  F 
ol  the  Third  United  States  Artillery.  It  landed 
at    Monterey  January  28,   1847.     It  vvas  com- 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL  RECORD. 


147 


manded  by  Capt.  C.  O.  Thompkins.  With 
it  came  Lieuts.  E.  O.  C.  Ord,  William  T.  Sher- 
man and  H.  W.  Halleck,  all  of  whom  became 
prominent  in  California  affairs  and  attained  na- 
tional reputation  during  the  Civil  war.  The 
Mormon  battalion  was  mustered  out  in  July, 
1847.  One  company  under  command  of  Cap- 
tain Hunt  re-enlisted.  The  others  made  their 
way  to  LTtah,  where  they  joined  their  brethren 
who  the  year  before  had  crossed  the  plains  and 
founded  the  City  of  Salt  Lake.  The  Xew  York 
volunteers  were  discharged  in  August,  1848. 
After  the  treaty  of  peace,  in  1848,  four  compa- 
nies of  United  States  Dragoons,  under  com- 
mand of  Major  L.  P.  Graham,  marched  from 
Chihuahua,  by  way  of  Tucson,  to  California. 
Major  Graham  was  the  last  military  commander 
of  the  south. 

Commodore  W.  Branford  Shubrick  succeeded 
Commodore  Stockton  in  command  of  the  naval 
forces  of  the  north  Pacific  coast.  Jointly  with 
General  Kearny  he  issued  a  circular  or  proc- 
lamation to  the  people  of  California,  printed  in 
English  and  Spanish,  setting  forth  "That  the 
president  of  the  United  States,  desirous  to  give 
and  secure  to  the  people  of  California  a  share 
of  the  good  government  and  happy  civil  organ- 
ization enjoyed  by  the  people  of  the  United 
States,  and  to  protect  them  at  the  same  time 
from  the  attacks  of  foreign  foes  and  from  inter- 
nal commotions,  has  invested  the  undersigned 
with  separate  and  distinct  powers,  civil  and  mil- 
itary; a  cordial  co-operation  in  the  exercise  of 
which,  it  is  hoped  and  believed,  will  have  the 
happy  results  desired. 

"To  the  commander-in-chief  of  the  naval 
forces  the  president  has  assigned  the  regula- 
tion of  the  import  trade,  the  conditions  on  which 
vessels  of  all  nations,  our  own  as  well  as  foreign, 
may  be  admitted  into  the  ports  of  the  territory, 
and  the  establishment  of  all  port  regulations. 
To  the  commanding  military  officer  the  presi- 
dent has  assigned  the  direction  of  the  operations 
on  land  and  has  invested  him  with  administra- 
tive functions  of  government  over  the  people 
and  territory  occupied  by  the  forces  of  the 
United  States. 

"Done  at  Monterey,  capital  of  California,  this 
1st  day  of  March,  A.  D.   1847.     W.   Branford 


Shubrick,  commander-in-chief  of  the  naval 
forces.  S.  W.  Kearny,  Brig.-Gen.  United  States 
Army,  and  Governor  of  California." 

Under  the  administration  of  Col.  Richard  B. 
Mason,  the  successor  of  General  Kearny  as 
military  governor,  the  reconstruction,  or,  more 
appropriately,  the  transformation  period  began. 
The  orders  from  the  general  government  were 
to  conciliate  the  people  and  to  make  no  radical 
changes  in  the  form  of  government.  The  Mex- 
ican laws  were  continued  in  force.  Just  what 
these  laws  were,  it  was  difficult  to  find  out.  \<i 
code  commissioner  had  codified  the  laws  and  it 
sometimes  happened  that  the  judge  made  the 
law  to  suit  the  case.  Under  the  old  regime  the  al- 
calde was  often  law-giver,  judge,  jury  and  exe- 
cutioner, all  in  one.  Occasionally  there  was  fric- 
tion between  the  military  and  civil  powers,  and 
there  were  rumors  of  insurrections  and  inva- 
sions, but  nothing  came  of  them.  The  Califor- 
nians,  with  easy  good  nature  so  characteristic 
of  them,  made  the  best  of  the  situation.  "A 
thousand  things,"  says  Judge  Hays,  "combined 
to  smooth  the  asperities  of  war.  Eremont  had 
been  courteous  and  gay:  Mason  was  just  and 
firm.  The  natural  good  temper  of  the  popula- 
tion favored  a  speedy  and  perfect  conciliation. 
The  American  officers  at  once  found  themselves 
happy  in  every  circle.  In  suppers,  balls,  visiting 
in  town  and  country,  the  hours  glided  away  with 
pleasant  reflections." 

There  were,  however,  a  few  individuals  who 
were  not  happy  unless  they  could  stir  up  dis- 
sensions and  cause  trouble.  One  of  the  chief  of 
these  was  Serbulo  Yarela,  agitator  and  revolu- 
tionist. Yarela.  for  some  offense  not  specified 
in  the  records,  had  been  committed  to  prison  by 
the  second  alcalde  of  Los  Angeles.  Colonel  Ste- 
venson turned  him  out  of  jail,  and  Yarela  gave 
the  judge  a  tongue  lashing  in  refuse  Castilian. 
The  judge's  official  dignity  was  hurt.  He  sent 
a  communication  to  the  ayuntamiento  saying: 
"Owing  to  personal  abuse  which  1  received  ai 
the  hands  of  a  private  individual  and  from  the 
present  military  commander,  I  tender  my  resig- 
nation." 

The  ayuntamiento  senl  a  1  immunii  ation  to 
Colonel  Stevenson  asking  why  he  had  turned 
Yarela  out  of  jail  and  why  he  had  insulted  the 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL  RECORD. 


judge.  The  colonel  curtly  replied  that  the  mili- 
tary would  not  act  as  jailers  over  persons  guilty 
of  trifling  offenses  while  the  city  had  plenty  of 
persons  to  do  guard  duty  at  the  jail.  As  to  the 
abuse  of  the  judge,  he  was  not  aware  that  any 
abuse  had  been  given,  and  would  take  no  further 
notice  of  him  unless  he  stated  the  nature  of  the 
insult  offered  him.  The  council  decided  to  no- 
tify the  governor  of  the  outrage  perpetrated  by 
the  military  commander,  and  the  second  alcalde 
said  since  he  could  get  no  satisfaction  for  insults 
to  his  authority  from  the  military  despot,  he 
would  resign:  but  the  council  would  not  accept 
his  resignation,  so  he  refused  to  act,  and  the  city 
had  to  worry  along  with  one  alcalde. 

Although  foreigners  had  been  coming  to  Cali- 
fornia ever  since  1814,  their  numbers  had  not 
increased  very  rapidly.  Nearly  all  of  these  had 
found  their  way  there  by  sea.  Those  who  had 
become  permanent  residents  had  married  native 
Californian  women  and  adopted  the  customs  of 
the  country.  Capt.  Jedediah  S.  Smith,  in  1827, 
crossed  the  Sierra  Nevada  mountains  from  Cali- 
fornia and  by  way  of  the  Humboldt,  or,  as  he 
named  it,  the  Mary  River,  had  reached  the  Great 
Salt  Lake.  From  there  through  the  South  Pass 
of  the  Rocky  mountains  the  route  had  been 
traveled  for  several  years  by  the  fur  trappers. 
This  latter  became  the  great  emigrant  route  to 
California  a  few  years  later.  A  southern  route 
by  way  of  Santa  Fe  had  been  marked  out  and 
the  Pattee  party  had  found  their  way  to  the 
Colorado  by  the  Gila  route,  but  so  far  no  emi- 
grant trains  had  come  from  the  States  to  Cali- 
fornia with  women  and  children.  The  first  of 
these  mixed  trains  was  organized  in  western 
Missouri  in  May,  1841.  The  party  consisted  of 
sixty-nine  persons,  including  men,  women  and 
children.  This  party  divided  at  Soda  Springs, 
half  going  to  Oregon  and  the  others  keeping  on 
their  way  to  California.  They  reached  the  San 
Joaquin  valley  in  November,  1841,  after  a  toil- 
some journey  of  six  months.  The  first  settle- 
ment they  found  was  Dr.  Marsh's  ranch  in  what 
is  now  called  Contra  Costa  county.  Marsh  gave 
them  a  cordial  reception  at  first,  but  afterwards 
11  e  ited  them  meanly. 

Fourteen  of  the  party  started  for  the  Pueblo 
de   San   Jose.     At   the    Mission    of    San  Jose, 


twelve  miles  from  the  Pueblo,  they  were  all  ar- 
rested by  order  of  General  Vallejo.  One  of  the 
men  was  sent  to  Dr.  Marsh  to  have  him  come 
forthwith  and  explain  why  an  armed  force  of 
liis  countn  men  were  roaming  around  the  coun- 
try without  passports.  Marsh  secured  their  re- 
lease and  passports  for  all  the  party.  On  his 
return  home  he  charged  the  men  who  had  re- 
mained at  his  ranch  $5  each  for  a  passport,  al- 
though the  passports  had  cost  him  nothing.  As 
there  was  no  money  in  the  party,  each  had  to 
put  up  some  equivalent  from  his  scanty  posses- 
sions. Marsh  had  taken  this  course  to  reim- 
burse himself  for  the  meal  he  had  given  the 
half-starved  emigrants  the  first  night  of  their 
arrival  at  his  ranch. 

In  marked  contrast  with  the  meanness  of 
Marsh  was  the  liberality  of  Captain  Sutter.  Sut- 
ter had  built  a  fort  at  the  junction  of  the  Amer- 
ican river  and  the  Sacramento  in  1839  and  had 
obtained  extensive  land  grants.  His  fort  was 
the  frontier  post  for  the  overland  emigration. 
Gen.  John  Bidwell,  who  came  with  the  first 
emigrant  train  to  California,  in  a  description  of 
"Life  in  California  Before  the  Gold  Discovery," 
says:  "Nearly  everybody  who  came  to  Califor- 
nia then  made  it  a  point  to  reach  Sutter's  Fort. 
Sutter  was  one  of  the  most  liberal  and  hospita- 
ble of  men.  Everybody  was  welcome,  one  man 
or  a  hundred,  it  was  all  the  same." 

Another  emigrant  train,  known  as  the  Work- 
man-Rowland party,  numbering  forty-five  per- 
sons, came  from  Santa  Fe  by  the  Gila  route  to 
Los  Angeles.  About  twenty-five  of  this  party- 
were  persons  who  had  arrived  too  late  at  West- 
port,  Mo.,  to  join  the  northern  emigrant  party, 
so  they  went  with  the  annual  caravan  of  St. 
Louis  traders  to  Santa  Fe  and  from  there,  with 
traders  and  trappers,  continued  their  journey  to 
California.  From  1841  to  the  American  con- 
quest immigrant  trains  came  across  the  plains 
every  year. 

One  of  the  most  noted  of  these,  on  account  of 
the  tragic  fate  that  befell  it.  was  the  Donner 
party.  The  nucleus  of  this  party,  George  and 
Jacob  Donner  and  James  K.  Reed,  with  their 
families,  started  from  Springfield,  III,  in  the 
spring  of  1846.  By  accretions  and  combinations, 
when  it  reached   Fort   Bridger,  July  25,  it  had 


HISTORICAL  AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


14'.t 


increased  to  eighty-seven  persons — thirty-six 
men,  twenty-one  women  and  thirty  children, 
under  the  command  of  George  Dormer.  A  new 
route  called  the  Hastings  Cut-Off,  had  just  been 
opened  by  Lansford  W.  Hastings.  This  route- 
passed  to  the  south  of  Great  Salt  Lake  and 
struck  the  old  Fort  Hall  emigrant  road  on  the 
Humboldt.  It  was  claimed  that  the  "cut-off" 
shortened  the  distance  three  hundred  miles. 
The  Donner  party,  by  misrepresentations,  were 
induced  to  take  this  route.  The  cut-off  proved 
to  be  almost  impassable.  They  started  on  the 
cut-off  the  last  day  of  July,  and  it  was  the  end 
of  September  when  they  struck  the  old  emigrant 
trail  on  the  Humboldt.  They  had  lost  most  of 
their  cattle  and  were  nearly  out  of  provisions. 
From  this  on,  unmerciful  disaster  followed  them 
fast  and  faster.  In  an  altercation,  Reed,  one  of 
the  best  men  of  the  party,  killed  Snyder.  He 
was  banished  from  the  train  and  compelled  to 
leave  his  wife  and  children  behind.  An  old 
Belgian  named  Hardcoop  and  Wolfinger,  a 
German,  unable  to  keep  up,  were  abandoned  to 
die  on  the  road.  Fikc  was  accidentally  shot  by 
Foster.  The  Indians  stole  a  number  of  their 
cattle,  and  one  calamity  after  another  delayed 
them.  In  the  latter  part  of  October  they  had 
reached  the  Truckee.  Here  they  encountered  a 
heavy  snow  storm,  which  blocked  all  further 
progress.  They  wasted  their  strength  in  trying 
to  ascend  the  mountains  in  the  deep  snow  that 
had  fallen.  Finally,  finding  this  impossible,  they 
turned  back  and  built  cabins  at  a  lake  since 
known  as  Donner  Lake,  and  prepared  to  pass 
the  winter.  Most  of  their  oxen  had  strayed 
away  during  the  storm  and  perished.  Those 
still  alive  they  killed  and  preserved  the  meat. 
A  party  of  fifteen,  ten  men  and  five  women, 


known  as  the  "Forlorn  Hope,"  started,  Decem- 
ber 16,  on  snowshoes  to  cross  the  Sierras.  They 
had  provisions  for  six  days,  but  the  journey 
consumed  thirty-two  days.  Eight  of  the  ten 
men  perished,  and  among  them  the  noble  Stan- 
ton, who  hail  brought  relief  to  the  emigrants 
from  Sutter's  Fort  before  the  snows  began  to 
fall.  The  five  women  survived.  Upon  the  ar- 
rival of  the  wretched  survivors  of  the  "Forlorn 
Hope,"  the  terrible  sufferings  of  the  snow-bound 
immigrants  were  made  known  at  Sutter's  Fort, 
and  the  first  relief  party  was  organized,  and  on 
the  5th  of  February  started  for  the  lake.  Seven 
of  the  thirteen  who  started  succeeded  in  reach- 
ing the  lake.  On  the  19th  they  started  back 
with  twenty-one  of  the  immigrants,  three  of 
whom  died  on  the  way.  A  second  relief,  under 
Reed  and  McCutchen,  was  organized.  Reed 
had  gone  to  Yerba  Buena  to  seek  assistance.  A 
public  meeting  was  called  and  $1,500  subscribed. 
The  second  relief  started  from  Johnston's 
Ranch,  the  nearest  point  to  the  mountains,  on 
the  23d  of  February  and  reached  the  camp  on 
.March  1st.  They  brought  out  seventeen.  Two 
others  were  organized  and  reached  Donner 
Lake,  the  last  on  the  17th  of  April.  The  only 
survivor  then  was  Keseburg,  a  German,  who 
was  hated  by  all  the  company.  There  was  a 
strong  suspicion  that  he  had  killed  Mrs.  Don- 
ner. who  had  refused  to  leave  her  husband  (who 
was  too  weak  to  travel)  with  the  previous  relief. 
There  were  threats  of  hanging  him.  Keseburg 
had  saved  his  life  by  eating  the  bodies  of  the 
e'ead.  Of  the  original  party  of  eighty-seven,  a 
total  of  thirty-nine  perished  from  starvation. 
Most  of  the  survivors  were  compelled  to  resort 
to  cannabalism.  They  were  not  to  blame  if  they 
did. 


HISTORICAL   AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RLCoRD. 


CHAPTER   XXII. 


MEXICAN    LAWS    AND    AMERICAN    OFFICIALS. 


Ul'i  )N  the  departure  of  General  Kearny, 
.May  31,  1847,  Col.  Richard  D.  Mason 
became  governor  and  commander-in- 
chief  of  the  United  States  forces  in  California 
by  order  of  the  president.  Stockton,  Kearny 
and  Fremont  had  taken  their  departure,  the 
dissensions  that  had  existed  since  the  conquest 
of  the  territory  among  the  conquerors  ceased, 
and  peace  reigned. 

There  were  reports  of  Mexican  invasions  and 
suspicions  of  secret  plottings  against  gringo 
rule,  but  the  invaders  came  not  and  the  plottings 
never  produced  even  the  mildest  form  of  a  Mexi- 
can revolution.  Mexican  laws  were  adminis- 
tered for  the  most  part  by  military  officers.  The 
municipal  authorities  were  encouraged  to  con- 
tinue in  power  and  perform  their  governmental 
functions,  but  they  were  indifferent  and  some- 
times rebelled.  Under  Mexican  rule  there  was 
no  trial  by  jury.  The  alcalde  acted  as  judge 
and  in  criminal  cases  a  council  of  war  settled  the 
fate  of  the  criminal.  The  Rev.  Walter  Colton, 
while  acting  as  alcalde  of  Monterey,  in  1846-47, 
impaneled  the  first  jury  ever  summoned  in  Cali- 
fornia. "The  plaintiff  and  defendant,"  he  writes, 
"are  among  the  principal  citizens  of  the  country. 
The  case  was  one  involving  property  on  the  one 
side  and  integrity  of  character  on  the  other.  Its 
merits  had  been  pretty  widely  discussed,  and 
had  called  forth  an  unusual  interest.  One-third 
of  tlie  jury  were  Mexicans,  one-third  Califor- 
nians  and  the  other  third  Americans.  This  mix- 
ture may  have  the  bitter  answered  the  ends  of 
justice,  but  I  was  apprehensive  at  one  time  it 
would  embarrass  the  proceedings;  for  the  plaint- 
iff spoke  in  English,  the  defendant  in  French; 
the  jury,  save  the  Americans,  Spanish,  and  the 
witnesses,  all  the  languages  known  to  California. 
By  the  tact  of  Mr.  Hartnell,  who  acted  as  inter- 
prel  r,  and  tin-  absence  of  young  lawyers,  we 
got  along  very  well. 


"The  examination  of  witnesses  lasted  five  or 
six  hours.  I  then  gave  the  case  to  the  jury, 
stating  the  questions  of  fact  upon  which  they 
were  to  render  their  verdict.  They  retired  for 
an  hour  and  then  returned,  when  the  foreman 
handed  in  their  verdict,  which  was  clear  and 
explicit,  though  the  case  itself  was  rather  com- 
plicated. To  this  verdict  both  parties  bowed 
without  a  word  of  dissent.  The  inhabitants  who 
witnessed  the  trial  said  it  was  what  they  liked, 
that  there  could  be  no  bribery  in  it,  that  the 
opinion  of  twelve  honest  men  should  set  the 
case  forever  at  rest.  And  so  it  did,  though 
neither  party  completely  triumphed  in  the  issue. 
One  recovered  his  property,  which  had  been 
taken  from  him  by  mistake,  the  other  his  char- 
acter, which  had  been  slandered  by  design." 

The  process  of  Americanizing  the  people  was 
no  easy  undertaking.  The  population  of  the 
country  and  its  laws  were  in  a  chaotic  condition. 
It  was  an  arduous  task  that  Colonel  Mason  and 
the  military  commanders  at  the  various  pueblos 
had  to  perform,  that  of  evolving  order  out  of 
the  chaos  that  had  been  brought  about  by  the 
change  in  nations.  The  native  population 
neither  understood  the  language  nor  the  cus- 
toms of  their  new  rules,  and  the  newcomers 
among  the  Americans  had  very  little  toleration 
for  the  slow-going  Mexican  ways  and  methods 
they  found  prevailing.  To  keep  peace  between 
the  factions  required  more  tact  than  knowledge 
of  law,  military  or  civil,  in  the  commanders. 

Los  Angeles,  under  Mexican  domination,  hail 
been  the  storm  center  of  revolutions,  and  here 
under  the  new  regime  the  most  difficulty  was 
encountered  in  transforming  the  quondam  rev- 
olutionists into  law-abiding  and  peaceful  Amer- 
ican citizens.  The  ayuntamiento  was  convened 
in  1S47,  after  the  conquest,  and  continued  in 
power  until  the  close  of  the  vear.  When  the 
time  came  round  for  the  election  of  a  new  ayun- 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


151 


tamiento  there  was  trouble.  Stephen  C.  Foster, 
Colonel  Stevenson's  interpreter,  submitted  a 
paper  to  the  council  stating  that  the  govern- 
ment had  authorized  him  to  get  up  a  register  of 
voters.  The  ayuntamiento  voted  to  return  the 
paper  just  as  it  was  received.  Then  the  colonel 
made  a  demand  of  the  council  to  assist  Stephen 
in  compiling  a  register  of  voters.  Regidor  Cha- 
vez took  the  floor  and  said  such  a  register 
should  not  be  gotten  up  under  the  auspices  of 
the  military,  but,  since  the  government  had  so 
disposed,  thereby  outraging  this  honorable 
body,  no  attention  should  be  paid  to  said  com- 
munication. But  the  council  decided  that  the 
matter  did  not  amount  to  much,  so  they  granted 
the  request,  much  to  the  disgust  of  Chavez. 
The  election  was  held  and  a  new  ayuntamiento 
elected.  At  the  last  meeting  of  the  old  council, 
December  29,  1847,  Colonel  Stevenson  ad- 
dressed a  note  to  it  requesting  that  Stephen  C. 
Foster  be  recognized  as  first  alcalde  and  judge 
of  the  first  instance.  The  council  decided  to 
turn  the  whole  business  over  to  its  successor,  to 
deal  with  as  it  sees  fit. 

Colonel  Stevenson's  request  was  made  in  ac- 
cordance with  the  wish  of  Governor  Mason 
that  a  part  of  the  civil  offices  be  filled  by  Amer- 
icans. The  new  ayuntamiento  resented  the  in- 
terference. How  the  matter  terminated  is  best 
told  in  Stephen  C.  Foster's  own  words:  "Colo- 
nel Stevenson  was  determined  to  have  our  in- 
auguration done  in  style.  So  on  the  day  ap- 
pointed, January  1,  1848,  he.  together  with 
myself  and  colleague,  escorted  by  a  guard  of 
soldiers,  proceeded  from  the  colonel's  quarters 
to  the  alcalde's  office.  There  we  found  the  re- 
tiring ayuntamiento  and  the  new  one  awaiting 
our  arrival.  The  oath  of  office  was  adminis- 
tered by  the  retiring  first  alcalde.  We  knelt  to 
take  the  oath,  when  we  found  tiny  had  changed 
their  minds,  and  the  alcalde  told  us  that  if  two 
of  their  number  were  to  be  kicked  out  they 
would  all  go.  So  they  all  marched  out  and  left 
us  in  possession.  Here  was  a  dilemma,  but 
Colonel  Stevenson  was  equal  to  the  emergency. 
He  said  he  could  give  us  a  swear  as  well  as  the 
alcalde.  So  we  stood  up  and  he  administered 
to  us  an  oath  to  support  the  constitution  of 
the  United  States  and  administer  justice  in  ac- 


cordance  with  Mexican  law.  I  then  knew  as 
much  about  Mexican  law  as  I  did  about  Chinese, 
and  my  colleague  knew  as  much  as  I  did.  Guer- 
rero gathered  up  the  books  that  pertained  to  his 
office  and  took  them  to  his  house,  where  he 
established  his  office,  and  I  took  the  archives 
and  records  across  the  street  to  a  house  I  had 
rented,  and  there  I  was  duly  installed  for  the 
next  seventeen  months,  the  first  American  al- 
calde and  carpet-bagger  in  Los  Angeles." 

Colonel  Stevenson  issued  a  call  for  the  elec- 
tion of  a  new  ayuntamiento,  but  the  people 
stayed  at  home  and  no  votes  were  cast.  At  the 
close  of  the  year  the  voters  had  gotten  over 
their  pet  and  when  a  call  was  made  a  council 
was  elected,  but  only  Californians  (hijos  del 
pais)  were  returned.  The  ayuntamientos  con- 
tinued to  be  the  governing  power  in  the  pueblos 
until  superseded  by  city  and  county  govern- 
ments in  1850. 

The  most  difficult  problem  that  General  Kear- 
ny in  his  short  term  had  to  confront  and,  un- 
solved, he  handed  down  to  his  successor.  Colo- 
nel Mason,  was  the  authority  and  jurisdiction 
of  the  alcaldes.  Under  the  Mexican  regime 
these  officers  were  supreme  in  the  pueblo  over 
which  they  ruled.  For  the  Spanish  transgressor 
fines  of  various  degrees  were  the  usual  penalty; 
for  the  mission  neophyte,  the  lash,  well  laid  on, 
and  labor  in  the  chain  gang.  There  was  no 
written  code  that  defined  the  amount  of  pun- 
ishment, the  alcalde  meted  out  justice  and  some- 
times injustice,  as  suited  his  humor.  Kearny 
appointed  John  H.  Nash  alcalde  of  Sonoma. 
Nash  was  a  somewhat  erratic  individual,  who 
had  taken  part  in  the  Bear  Flag  revolution. 
When  the  offices  of  the  prospective  Pacific  Re- 
public were  divided  among  the  revolutionists, 
he  was  to  be  the  chief  justice.  After  the  col- 
lapse of  that  short-lived  republic.  Nash  was 
elected  alcalde.  His  rule  was  so  arbitrary  and 
his  decisions  so  biased  by  favoritism  or  preju- 
dice that  the  American  settlers  soon  protested 
and  General  Kearny  removed  him  or  tried  to. 
He  appointed  L.  W.  Boggs,  a  recently  arrived 
immigrant,  to  the  office.  Mash  refused  to  sur- 
render the  books  and  papers  oi  the  office.  Lieut. 
W.  T.  Sherman  was  detailed  by  Colonel  Mason, 
after  his  succession  '  >l  governor,  to 


152 


HISTORICAL  AXD   BIOGRAPHICAL  RECORD. 


proceed  to  Sonoma  ami  arrest  Nash.  Sherman 
quietly  arrested  him  at  night  and  before  the 
bellicose  alcalde's  friends  (for  he  had  quite  a  fol- 
lowing) were  aware  of  what  was  going  on, 
marched  him  off  to  San  Francisco.  He  was 
put  on  board  the  Dale  and  sent  to  Monterey. 
Finding  that  it  was  useless  for  him  to  resist  the 
authority  of  the  United  States,  its  army  and 
navy  as  well,  Nash  expressed  his  willingness  to 
submit  to  the  inevitable,  and  surrendered  his 
office.  He  was  released  and  ceased  from  troub- 
ling. Another  strenuous  alcalde  was  William 
Blackburn,  of  Santa  Cruz.  He  came  to  the 
country  in  1845,  and  before  his  elevation  to  the 
honorable  position  of  a  judge  of  the  first  in- 
stance he  had  been  engaged  in  making  shingles 
in  the  redwoods.  He  had  no  knowledge  of  law 
and  but  little  acquaintance  with  books  of  any 
kind.  His  decisions  were  always  on  the  side  of 
justice,  although  some  of  the  penalties  imposed 
were  somewhat  irregular. 

In  Alcalde  Blackburn's  docket  for  August  14, 
1847,  appears  this  entry:  "Pedro  Gomez  was 
tried  for  the  murder  of  his  wife,  Barbara  Gomez, 
and  found  guilty.  The  sentence  of  the  court  is 
that  the  prisoner  be  conducted. back  to  prison, 
there  to  remain  until  Monday,  the  16th  of  Au- 
gust, and  then  be  taken  out  and  shot."  August 
17.  sentence  carried  into  effect  on  the  16th  ac- 
cordingly.        William    Blackburn,  Alcalde. 

It  does  not  appear  in  the  records  that  Black- 
burn was  the  executioner.  He  proceeded  to 
dispose  of  the  two  orphaned  children  of  the 
murderer.  The  older  daughtei  he  indentured  to 
Jacinto  Castro  "to  raise  until  she  is  twenty-one 
years  of  age,  unless  sooner  married,  said  Ja- 
cinto Castro,  obligating  himself  to  give  her  a 
good  education,  three  cows  and  calves  at  her 
marriage  or  when  of  age."  The  younger  daugh- 
ter was  disposed  of  on  similar  terms  to  A.  Rod- 
riguez. Colonel  Mason  severely  reprimanded 
Blackburn,  but  the  alcalde  replied  that  there 
was  no  use  making  a  fuss  river  it;  the  man  was 
guilty,  he  had  a  fair  trial  before  a  jury  and  de- 
served to  die.  Another  case  in  his  court  illus- 
trates the  versatility  of  the  judge.  A  Spanish 
boy,  out  of  revenge,  sheared  the  mane  and  tail 
of  a  neighbor's  horse.    The  offense  was  proved, 


but  the  judge  uas  sorely  perplexed  when  he 
came  to  sentence  the  culprit.  He  could  find  no 
law  in  his  law  books  to  fit  the  case.  After  pon- 
dering over  the  question  a  while,  he  gave  this 
decision:  "I  find  no  law  in  any  of  the  statutes 
to  fit  this  case,  except  in  the  law  of  Moses,  'An 
eye  for  an  eye  and  a  tooth  for  a  tooth."  Let  the 
prisoner  be  taken  out  in  front  of  this  office  and 
there  sheared  close."  The  sentence  was  imme- 
diately executed. 

Another  story  is  told  of  Blackburn,  which 
may  or  may  not  be  true.  A  mission  Indian  who 
had  committed  murder  took  the  right  of  sanc- 
tuary in  the  church,  and  the  padre  refused  to 
give  him  up.  Blackburn  wrote  to  the  governor, 
slating  the  case.  The  Indian,  considering  him- 
self safe  while  with  the  padre,  left  the  church 
in  company  with  the  priest.  Blackburn  seized 
him,  tried  him  and  hung  him.  He  then  reported 
to  the  governor:  "I  received  your  order  to  sus- 
pend the  execution  of  the  condemned  man,  but 
I  had  hung  him.  When  I  see  you  I  will  ex- 
plain the  affair." 

Some  of  the  military  commanders  of  the  pre- 
sidios and  pueblos  gave  Governor  Mason  as 
much  trouble  as  the  alcaldes.  These,  for  the 
most  part,  were  officers  of  the  volunteers  who 
had  arrived  after  the  conquest.  They  were  un- 
used to  "war's  alarms,"  and.  being  new  to 
the  country  and  ignorant  of  the  Spanish  lan- 
guage, they  regarded  the  natives  with  suspicion. 
They  were  on  the  lookout  for  plots  and  revolu- 
tions. Sometimes  they  found  these  incubating 
and  undertook  to  crush  them,  only  to  discover 
that  the  affair  was  a  hoax  or  a  practical  joke. 
The  Canon  Perdido  (lost  canon)  of  Santa  Bar- 
bara episode  is  a  good  illustration  of  the 
trouble  one  "finicky"  man  can  make  when  en- 
trusted with  military  power. 

In  the  winter  of  1847-48  the  American  bark 
Elisabeth  was  wrecked  on  the  Santa  Barbara 
coast.  Among  the  flotsam  of  the  wreck  was  a 
brass  cannon  of  uncertain  calibre:  it  might  have 
been  a  six.  a  nine  or  a  twelve  pounder.  What 
the  capacity  of  its  bore  matters  not,  for  the  gun 
unloaded  made  more  noise  in  Santa  Barbara 
than  it  ever  did  when  it  belched  forth  shot  and 
shell  in  battle.  The  gun.  after  its  rescue  from 
a  watery  grave,  lay  for  some  time  on  the  beach, 


HISTORICAL   AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


devoid  of  carriage  and  useless,  apparently,  for 
offense  or  defense. 

One  dark  night  a  little  squad  of  native  Cali- 
fornians  stole  down  to  the  beach,  loaded  the 
gun  in  an  ox  cart,  hauled  it  to  the  estero  and 
hid  it  in  the  sands.  What  was  their  object  in 
taking  the  gun  no  one  knows.  Perhaps  they 
did  not  know  themselves.  It  might  come  handy 
in  a  revolution,  or  maybe  they  only  intended  to 
play  a  practical  joke  on  the  gringos.  Whatever 
their  object,  the  outcome  of  their  prank  must 
have  astonished  them.  There  was  a  company 
(F)  of  Stevenson's  New  York  volunteers  sta- 
tioned at  Santa  Barbara,  under  command  of 
Captain  Lippett.  Lippett  was  a  fussy,  nervous 
individual  who  lost  his  head  when  anything  un- 
usual occurred.  In  the  theft  of  the  cannon  he 
thought  he  had  discovered  a  California  revolu- 
tion in  the  formative  stages,  and  he  determined 
to  crush  it  in  its  infancy.  He  sent  post  haste  a 
courier  to  Governor  Mason  at  Monterey,  in- 
forming him  of  the  prospective  uprising  of  the 
natives  and  the  possible  destruction  of  the 
troops  at  Santa  Barbara  by  the  terrible  gun  the 
enemy  had  stolen. 

Colonel  Mason,  relying  on  Captain  Lippett's 
report,  determined  to  give  the  natives  a  lesson 
that  would  teach  them  to  let  guns  and  revolu- 
tions alone.  He  issued  an  order  from  headquar- 
ters at  Monterey,  in  which  he  said  that  ample 
time  having  been  allowed  for  the  return  of  the 
gun,  and  the  citizens  having  failed  to  produce 
it,  he  ordered  that  the  town  be  laid  under  a  con- 
tribution of  $500,  assessed  in  the  following  man- 
ner: A  capitation  tax  of  $2  on  all  males  over 
twenty  years  of  age;  the  balance  to  be  paid  by 
the  heads  of  families  and  property-holders  in  the 
proportion  of  the  value  of  their  respective  real 
and  personal  estate  in  the  town  of  Santa  Bar- 
bara and  vicinity.  Col.  J.  D.  Stevenson  was  ap- 
pointed to  direct  the  appraisement  of  the  prop- 
erty and  the  collection  of  the  assessment.  If 
any  failed  to  pay  his  capitation,  enough  of  his 
property  was  to  be  seized  and  sold  to  pay  his 
enforced  contribution. 

The  promulgation  of  the  order  at  Santa  Bar- 
bara raised  a  storm  of  indignation  at  the  old 
pueblo.  Colonel  Stevenson  came  up  from  Los 
Angeles  and  had  an  interview  with  Don  Pablo 


de  La  Guerra,  a  leading  citizen  of  Santa  Bar- 
bara. Don  Pablo  was  wrathfully  indignant  at 
the  insult  put  upon  his  people,  but  after  talking 
over  the  affair  with  Colonel  Stevenson,  he  be- 
came somewhat  mollified.  He  invited  Colonel 
Stevenson  to  make  Santa  Barbara  his  headquar- 
ters and  inquired  about  the  brass  band  at  the 
lower  pueblo.  Stevenson  took  the  hint  and  or- 
dered up  the  band  from  Los  Angeles.  July  4th 
had  been  fixed  upon  as  the  day  for  the  payment 
of  the  fines,  doubtless  with  the  idea  of  giving 
the  Californians  a  little  celebration  that  would 
remind  them  hereafter  of  Liberty's  natal  day. 
Colonel  Stevenson  contrived  to  have  the  band 
reach  Santa  Barbara  on  the  night  of  the  3d. 
The  band  astonished  Don  Pablo  and  his  family 
with  a  serenade.  The  Don  was  so  delighted 
that  he  hugged  the  colonel  in  the  most  approved 
style.  The  band  serenaded  all  the  Dons  of  note 
in  town  and  tooted  until  long  after  midnight, 
then  started  in  next  morning  and  kept  it  up 
till  ten  o'clock,  the  time  set  for  each  man  to  con- 
tribute his  "dos  pesos"  to  the  common  fund. 
By  that  time  every  hombre  on  the  list  was  so 
filled  with  wine,  music  and  patriotism  that  the 
greater  portion  of  the  fine  was  handed  over 
without  protest.  The  day  closed  with  a  grand 
hall.  The  beauty  and  the  chivalry  of  Santa  Bar- 
bara danced  to  the  music  of  a  gringo  brass 
hand  and  the  brass  cannon  for  the  nonce  was 
forgotten. 

But  the  memory  of  the  city's  ransom  rankled, 
and  although  an  American  band  played  Spanish 
airs,  American  injustice  was  still  remembered. 
When  the  city's  survey  was  made  in  1850  the 
nomenclature  of  three  streets,  Canon  Perdidd 
(Lost  Cannon  street),  Ouinientos  (Five  Hun- 
dred street)  and  Mason  street  kept  the  cannon 
episode  green  in  the  memory  of  the  Barbareiios. 
When  the  pueblo,  b)  legislative  act.  became  a 
ciudad,  the  municipal  authorities  selected  this 
device  for  a  seal:  In  the  center  a  cannon  em- 
blazoned, encircled  with  these  words.  Vale 
Ouinientos  IVsos — Worth  $500,  or,  more  liber- 
ally   translated.   <i 1-bye,   $500.   which,   b)    the 

way.  as  the  sequel  of  the  story  will  show,  is  the 
better  translation.  This  seal  was  used  from  the 
incorporation  of  the  cit)  in  [850  to  i860,  when 
another  design  was  chosen. 


154 


HISTORICAL  AXD    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


Alter  peace  was  declared,  Colonel  .Mason  sent 
the  $500  to  the  prefect  at  Santa  Barbara,  with 
instructions  to  use  it  in  building  a  city  jail;  and 
although  there  was  pressing  need  for  a  jail,  the 
jail  was  not  built.  The  prefect's  needs  were 
pressing,  too.  Several  years  passed;  then  the 
city  council  demanded  that  the  prefect  turn  the 
money  into  the  city  treasury.  He  replied  that 
the  money  was  entrusted  to  him  for  a  specific 
purpose,  and  he  would  trust  no  city  treasurer 
with  it.  The  fact  was  that  long  before  he  had 
lost  it  in  a  game  of  monte. 

Ten  years  passed,  and  the  episode  of  the  lost 
cannon  was  but  a  dimly  remembered  story  of 
the  olden  time.  The  old  gun  reposed  peacefully 
in  its  grave  of  sand  and  those  who  buried  it 
had  forgotten  the  place  of  its  interment.  One 
stormy  night  in  December,  1858,  the  estero 
(creek)  cut  a  new  channel  to  the  ocean.  In 
the  morning,  as  some  Barbarenos  were  survey- 
ing the  changes  caused  by  the  flood,  they  saw 
the  muzzle  of  a  large  gun  protruding  from  the 
cut  in  the  bank.  They  unearthed  it.  cleaned  off 
the  sand  and  discovered  that  it  was  El  Canon 
Perdido,  the  lost  cannon.  It  was  hauled  up 
State  street  to  Canon  Perdido,  where  it  was 
mounted  on  an  improvised  carriage.  But  the 
sight  of  it  was  a  reminder  of  an  unpleasant  in- 
cident. The  finders  sold  it  to  a  merchant  for 
S80.  He  shipped  it  to  San  Francisco  and  sold 
it  at  a  handsome  profit  for  old  brass. 

Governor  Pio  Pico  returned  from  Mexico  to 
California,  arriving  at  San  Gabriel  July  17,  1848. 
Although  the  treaty  of  peace  between  the 
United  States  and  Mexico  had  been  signed  and 
proclaimed,  the  news  had  not  reached  Califor- 
nia. Pico,  from  San  Fernando,  addressed  let- 
ters to  Colonel  Stevenson  at  Los  Angeles  and 
Governor  Mason  at  Monterey,  stating  that  as 
Mexican  governor  of  California  he  had  come 
back  to  the  country  with  the  object  of  carrying 
out  the  armistice  which  then  existed  between 
the  United  States  and  Mexico.  He  further 
stated  that  he  had  no  desire  to  impede  the  es- 
tablishment of  peace  between  the  two  countries; 
and  that  he  wished  to  see  the  Mexicans  and 
Vmericans  treat  each  other  in  a  spirit  of  frater- 
nity. Mason  did  not  like  Pico's  assumption  of 
the  title  of  Mexican  governor  of  California,  al- 


though it  is  not  probable  that  Pico  intended  to 
assert  any  claim  to  his  former  position.  Gov- 
ernor Mason  sent  a  special  courier  to  Los  An- 
geles with  orders  to  Colonel  Stevenson  to 
arrest  the  ex-governor,  who  was  then  at  his 
Santa  Margarita  rancho,  and  send  him  to  Mon- 
terey, but  the  news  of  the  ratification  of  the 
treaty  of  Guadalupe  Hidalgo  reached  Los  An- 
geles before  the  arrest  was  made,  and  Pico  was 
spared  this  humiliation. 

The  treaty  of  peace  between  the  United  States 
and  Mexico  was  signed  at  Guadalupe  Hidalgo, 
a  hamlet  a  few  miles  from  the  City  of  Mexico, 
February  2,  1848;  ratifications  were  exchanged 
at  Queretaro,  May  30  following,  and  a  procla- 
mation that  peace  had  been  established  between 
the  two  countries  was  published  July  4,  1848. 
Under  this  treaty  the  United  States  assumed  the 
payment  of  the  claims  of  American  citizens 
against  Mexico,  and  paid,  in  addition,  $15,000,- 
000  to  Mexico  for  Texas,  New  Mexico  and 
Alta  California.  Out  of  what  was  the  Mexican 
territory  of  Alta  California  there  has  been 
carved  all  of  California,  all  of  Nevada,  Utah  and 
Arizona  and  part  of  Colorado  and  Wyoming. 
The  territory  acquired  by  the  treaty  of  Guada- 
lupe Hidalgo  was  nearly  equal  to  the  aggre- 
gated area  of  the  thirteen  original  states  at  the 
time  of  the  Revolutionary  war. 

The  news  of  the  treaty  of  peace  reached  Cali- 
fornia August  6,  1848.  On  the  7th  Governor 
Mason  issued  a  proclamation  announcing  the 
ratification  of  the  treaty.  He  announced  that 
all  residents  of  California,  who  wished  to  be- 
come citizens  of  the  United  States,  were  ab- 
solved from  their  allegiance  to  Mexico.  Those 
who  desired  to  retain  their  Mexican  citizenship 
could  do  so,  provided  they  signified  such  inten- 
tion within  one  year  from  May  30,  1848.  Those 
who  wished  to  go  to  Mexico  were  at  liberty  to 
do  so  without  passports.  Six  months  before, 
Governor  Mason  had  issued  a  proclamation  pro- 
hibiting any  citizen  of  Sonora  from  entering 
California  except  on  official  business,  and  then 
otfly  under  flag  of  truce.  He  also  required  all 
Sonorans  in  the  country  to  report  themselves 
either  at  Los  Angeles  or  Monterey. 

The  war  was  over;  and  the  treaty  of  peace 
had  made  all  who  so  elected,  native  or  foreign 


HISTORICAL   AXD    BIOGRAPHICAL    RKCORD. 


born,  American  citizens.  Strict  military  rule 
was  relaxed  and  the  people  henceforth  were  to 
be  self-governing.  American  and  Californian 
were  one  people  and  were  to  enjoy  the  same 
rights  and  to  be  subject  to  the  same  penalties. 
The  war  ended,  the  troops  were  no  longer 
needed.  Orders  were  issued  to  muster  out  the 
volunteers.  These  all  belonged  to  Stevenson's 
New  York  regiment.  The  last  company  of  the 
Mormon  battalion  had  been  discharged  in  April. 


1  he  New  York  volunteers  were  scattered  all 
along  the  coast  from  Sonoma  to  Cape  St.  Lucas, 
doing  garrison  duty.  They  were  collected  at 
different  points  and  mustered  out.  Although 
those  stationed  in  Alta  California  had  done 
no  fighting,  they  had  performed  arduous  serv- 
ice in  keeping  peace  in  the  conquered  territory. 
Most  of  them  remained  in  California  after  their 
discharge  and  rendered  a  good  account  of  them- 
selves as  citizens. 


CHAPTER   XXIII 


GOLD!    GOLD!    GOLD! 


SEBASTIAN  VISCAINO,  from  the  bay  of 
Monterey,  writing  to  the  King  of  Spain 
three  hundred  years  ago,  says  of  the  In- 
dians of  California:  "They  are  well  acquainted 
with  gold  and  silver,  and  said  that  these  were 
found  in  the  interior."  Viscaino  was  endeavor- 
ing to  make  a  good  impression  on  the  mind  of 
the  king  in  regard  to  his  discoveries,  and  the 
remark  about  the  existence  of  gold  and  silver 
in  California  was  thrown  to  excite  the  cupidity 
of  his  Catholic  majesty.  The  traditions  of  the 
existence  of  gold  in  California  before  any  was 
discovered  are  legion.  Most  of  these  have  been 
evolved  since  gold  was  actually  found.  Col.  J. 
J.  Warner,  a  pioneer  of  183 1,  in  his  Historical 
Sketch  of  Los  Angeles  County,  briefly  and  very 
effectually  disposes  of  these  rumored  discov- 
eries. He  says:  "While  statements  respecting 
the  existence  of  gold  in  the  earth  of  California 
and  its  procurement  therefrom  have  been  made 
and  published  as  historical  facts,  carrying  back 
the  date  of  the  knowledge  of  the  auriferous 
character  of  this  state  as  far  as  the  time  of  the 
visit  of  Sir  Francis  Drake  to  this  coast,  there  is 
no  evidence  to  be  found  in  the  written  or  oral 
history  of  the  missions,  the  acts  and  correspond- 
ence of  the  civil  or  military  officers,  or  in  the 
unwritten  and  traditional  history  of  Upper  (  ali- 
Fornia  that  the  existence  of  gold,  either  with 
ores  or  in  its  virgin  state,  was  ever  suspected 
by  any  inhabitant  of  California  previous  to  1841, 
and.  furthermore,  there  is  conclusive  testimonj 


that  the  first  known  grain  of  native  gold  dust 
was  found  upon  or  near  the  San  Francisco  ranch, 
about  forty-five  miles  north-westerly  from  Los 
Angeles  City,  in  the  month  of  June,  1841.  This 
discovery  consisted  of  grain  gold  fields  (known 
as  placer  mines),  and  the  auriferous  fields  dis- 
covered in  that  year  embraced  the  greater  part 
of  the  country  drained  by  the  Santa  Clara  river 
from  a  point  some  fifteen  or  twenty  miles  from 
its  mouth  to  its  source,  and  easterly  beyond 
Mount  San  Bernardino." 

The  story  of  the  discovery  as  told  by  Warner 
and  by  Don  Abel  Stearns  agrees  in  the  main 
facts,  but  differing  materially  in  the  date.  Stearns 
says  gold  was  first  discovered  by  Francisci  1 
Lopez,  a  native  of  California,  in  the  month  of 
March,  1842,  at  a  place  called  San  Francisquito, 
about  thirty-five  miles  northwest  from  this  city 
(Los  Angeles).  The  circumstances  of  the  dis- 
covery bv  Lopez,  as  related  by  himself,  are  as 
follows:  "Lopez,  with  a  companion,  was  out  in 
search  of  some  stray  horses,  and  about  midday 
they  stopped  under  some  trees  and  tied  their 
horses  out  to  feed,  they  resting  under  the  shade, 
when  Lopez,  with  his  sheath-knife,  dug  up  some 
wild  onions,  and  in  the  dirt  discovered  a  piece 
of  sold.  and.  searching  further. 
more.  He  brought  these  to  town,  and  showed 
them  to  his  friends,  who  at  ..nee  declared  there 
must  be  a  placer  of  sold.  This  news  being  cir- 
culated, numbers  of  the  citizens  went  to  the 
place,  and  commenced  prospecting  in  the  neigh- 


156 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


borhood,  and  found  it  to  be  a  fact  that  there  was 
a  placer  of  gold." 

Colonel  Warner  says:  "The  news  of  this  dis- 
covery soon  spread  among  the  inhabitants  from 
Santa  Barbara  to  Los  Angeles,  and  in  a  few 
weeks  hundreds  of  people  were  engaged  in 
washing  and  winnowing  the  sands  and  earth  of 
these  gold  fields." 

Warner  visited  the  mines  a  few  weeks  after 
their  discovery.  He  says:  "From  these  mines 
was  obtained  the  first  parcel  of  California  gold 
dust  received  at  the  United  States  mint  in  Phila- 
delphia, and  which  was  sent  with  Alfred  Robin- 
son, and  went  in  a  merchant  ship  around  Cape 
Horn."  This  shipment  of  gold  was  18.34  ounces 
before  and  18.1  ounces  after  melting;  fineness, 
.925;  value,  $344.75,  or  over  $19  to  the  ounce. 
a  very  superior  quality  of  gold  dust.  It  was 
deposited  111  the  mint  July  8,  1843. 

It  may  be  regarded  as  a  settled  historical  fact 
that  the  first  authenticated  discovery  of  gold 
in  Alta  California  was  made  on  the  San  Fran- 
cisco rancho  in  the  San  Feliciano  Canon,  Los 
Angeles  county.  This  canon  is  about  ten  miles 
northwest  of  Newhall  station  on  the  Southern 
Pacific  railroad,  and  about  forty  miles  northwest 
of  Los  Angeles. 

The  date  of  the  discovery  is  in  doubt.  A  peti- 
tion to  the  governor  (Alvarado)  asking  permis- 
sion to  work  the  placers,  signed  by  Francisco 
Lopez,  Manuel  Cota  and  Domingo  Bermudez  is 
on  file  in  the  California  archives.  It  recites: 
"That  as  Divine  Providence  was  pleased  to  give 
us  a  placer  of  gold  on  the  gth  of  last  March  in 
the  locality  of  San  Francisco  rancho,  that  be- 
longs to  the  late  Don  Antonio  del  Yalle."  This 
petition  fixes  the  day  of  the  month  the  discovery 
was  made,  but  unfortunately  omits  all  other 
dates.  The  evidence  is  about  equally  divided 
between  the  years  1841  and  1842. 

It  is  impossible  to  obtain  definite  information 
in  regard  to  the  yield  of  the  San  Fernando 
placers,  as  these  mines  are  generally  called. 
William  Heath  Davis,  in  his  "Sixty  Years  in 
California,"  states  that  from  $80,000  to  $100,000 
was  taken  out  for  the  fiist  two  years  after  their 
discovery.  He  says  that  Melius  at  one  time 
shipped  $5,000  of  dusi  i.n  the  ship  Alert.  Ban- 
croft says:  "That  by  December,  1S43.  two  thou- 


sand ounces  of  gold  had  been  taken  from  the 
San  Fernando  mines."  Don  Antonio  Coronel 
informed  the  author  that  he,  with  the  assistance 
of  three  Indian  laborers,  in  1842,  took  out  $600 
worth  of  dust  in  two  months.  De  Mofras,  in  his 
book,  states  that  Carios  Baric,  a  Frenchman,  in 
1842,  was  obtaining  an  ounce  a  day  of  pure  gold 
from  his  placer. 

These  mines  were  worked  continuously  from 
the  time  of  their  discovery  until  the  American 
conquest,  principally  by  Sonorians.  The  dis- 
covery of  gold  at  Coloma,  January  24,  1848, 
drew  away  the  miners,  and  no  work  was  done 
on  these  mines  between  1848  and  1854.  After 
the  latter  dates  work  was  resumed,  and  in  1855, 
Francisco  Garcia,  working  a  gang  of  Indians, 
is  reported  to  have  taken  out  $65,000  in  one 
season.  The  mines  are  not  exhausted,  but  the 
scarcity  of  water  prevents  working  them  profit- 
ably. 

It  is  rather  a  singular  coincidence  that  the 
exact  dates  of  both  the  first  and  second  authen- 
ticated discoveries  of  gold  in  California  are  still 
among  the  undecided  questions  of  history.  In 
the  first,  we  know  the  day  but  not  the  year;  in 
the  second,  we  know  the  year  but  not  the  day 
of  the  month  on  which  Marshall  picked  up  the 
first  nuggets  in  the  nnllrace  at  Coloma.  For  a 
number  of  years  after  the  anniversary  of  Mar- 
shall's discovery  began  to  be  observed  the  19th 
of  January  was  celebrated.  Of  late  years  Jan- 
uary _'4  has  been  fixed  upon  as  the  correct  date, 
hut  the  Associated  Pioneers  of  the  Territorial 
Days  of  California,  an  association  made  up  of 
men  who  were  in  the  territory  at  the  time  of 
Marshall's  discovery  or  came  hero  before  it 
became  a  state,  object  to  the  change.  For  nearly 
thirty  years  they  have  held  their  annual  dinners 
on  January  18,  "the  anniversary  of  the  discovery 
of  gold  at  Sutter's  sawmill,  Coloma,  Cal."  This 
society  has  its  headquarters  in  Xew  York  City. 
In  a  circular  recently  issued,  disapproving  of 
the  change  of  date  from  the  18th  to  the  24th,  the 
trustees  of  that  society  say:  "Upon  the  organi- 
zation of  this  society,  February  11,  1875,  it  was 
decided  to  hold  its  annual  dinners  on  the  anni- 
versary  of  the  discovery  of  gold  at  Sutter's  saw- 
mill, Coloma,  Cal.  Through  the  Hon.  Newton 
i ',00th,  of  the  United  States.  Senate,  this  infor- 


HISTORICAL   AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


mation  was  sought,  with  the  result  ot  a  commu- 
nication from  the  secretary  of  the  state  of  Cali- 
fornia to  the  effect  'that  the  archives  of  the 
state  of  California  recorded  the  date  as  of  Jan- 
uary 1 8,  1848.  Some  years  ago  this  date  was 
changed  by  the  society  at  San  Francisco  to  that 
of  January  24,  and  that  date  has  been  adopted 
by  other  similar  societies  located  upon  the 
Pacific  and  Atlantic  coasts.  This  society  took 
the  matter  under  advisement,  with  the  result 
that  the  new  evidence  upon  which  it  was  pro- 
posed to  change  the  date  was  not  deemed  suffi- 
cient to  justify  this  society  in  ignoring  its  past 
records,  founded  on  the  authority  of  the  state 
of  California;  therefore  it  has  never  accepted 
the  new  date." 

Marshall  himself  was  uncertain  about  the 
exact  date.  At  various  times  he  gave  three 
different  dates — the  iSth,  igth  and  20th,  but 
never  moved  it  along  as  far  as  the  24th.  In  the 
past  thirty  years  three  different  dates — the  [8th, 
19th  and  24th  of  January — have  been  celebrated 
as  the  anniversary  of  Marshall's  gold  dis- 
covery. 

The  evidence  upon  which  the  date  was  changed 
to  the  24th  is  found  in  an  entry  in  a  diary  kept 
by  II.  \Y.  Bigler,  a  Mormon,  who  was  working 
for  Marshall  on  the  millrace  at  the  time  gold 
was  discovered.  The  entry  reads:  "January  24. 
This  day  some  kind  of  metal  that  looks  like 
goold  was  found  in  the  tailrace."  On  this 
authority  about  ten  years  ago  the  California 
Pioneers  adopted  the  24th  as  the  correct  date 
of  Marshall's  discovery. 

While  written  records,  especially  if  made  at 
the  time  of  the  occurrence  of  the  event,  are 
more  reliable  than  oral  testimony  given  long 
after,  yet  when  we  take  into  consideration  the 
conflicting  stories  of  Sutter,  Marshall,  the  Win- 
ners and  others  who  were  immediatel)  con- 
cerned in  some  way  with  the  discovery,  we  must 
concede  that  the  Territorial  Pioneers  have  good 
reasons  to  hesitate  about  making  a  change  in 
the  date  of  their  anniversary.  In  Dr.  Trywhitt 
Brook's  "Four  Months  Among  the  Cold  Find- 
ers," a  book  published  in  London  in  184c).  and 
long  since  out  of  print,  we  have  Sutter's  version 
of  Marshall's  discovery  given  only  three  months 
after    that    discoverv    was    made.     Dr.    Brooks 


visited  Sutter's  Fort  early  in  May,  1848,  and 
received  from  Sutter  himself  the  story  ot  the 
find.  Sutter  stated  that  he  was  sitting  in  his 
room  at  the  fort,  one  afternoon,  when  Marshall, 
whom  he  supposed  to  be  at  the  mill,  forty  miles 
up  the  American  river,  suddenly  burst  in  upon 
him.  Marshall  was  so  wildly  excited  that  Sutter, 
suspecting  that  he  was  crazy,  looked  to  see 
whether  his  rifle  was  in  reach.  Marshall  declared 
that  he  had  made  a  discovery  that  would  give 
them  both  millions  and  millions  of  dollars.  Then 
he  drew  his  sack  and  poured  out  a  handful  of 
nuggets  on  the  table.  Sutter,  when  he  had 
tested  the  metal  and  found  that  it  was  gold, 
became  almost  as  excited  as  Marshall.  He 
eagerly  asked  if  the  workmen  at  the  mill  knew 
of  the  discovery.  Marshall  declared  that  he  had 
not  spoken  to  a  single  person  about  it.  They 
both  agreed  to  keep  it  secret.  Xext  day  Sutter 
and  Marshall  arrived  at  the  sawmill.  The  day 
after  their  arrival,  they  prospected  the  bars  of 
the  river  and  the  channels  of  some  of  the  dry 
creeks  and  found  gold  in  all. 

"On  our  return  to  the  mill,"  says  Sutter,  "we 
were  astonished  by  the  work-people  coming  up 
to  us  in  a  body  and  showing  us  some  flakes  1  >f 
gold  similar  to  those  we  had  ourselves  procured. 
Marshall  tried  to  laugh  the  matter  off  with  them, 
and  to  persuade  them  that  what  they  had  found 
was  only  some  shining  mineral  of  trifling  value; 
but  one  of  the  Indians,  who  had  worked  at  a 
gold  mine  in  the  neighborhood  of  La  Paz. 
Lower  California,  cried  out:  'Oral  Oral'  (gold! 
gold!),  and  the  secret  was  out." 

Captain  Sutter  continues:  "I  heard  afterward 
that  one  of  them,  a  sly  Kentuckian,  had  dogged 
us  about  and,  that,  looking  on  the  ground  to  see 
if  he  could  discover  what  we  were  in  search  ot, 
he  lighted  on  some  of  the  flakes  himself." 

If  this  account  is  correct.  Bigler's  entry  in 
hi-  diary  was  made  on  the  day  that  the  workmen 
found  gold,  which  was  live  or  six  days  after 
Marshall's  first  find,  and  consequently  the  24th 
is  that  much  too  late  [or  the  true  date  of  the 
discoverv.  The  story  of  the  discovery  given  in 
the  "Life  and  Adventures  of  James  W.  Mar- 
shall." by  George  Frederick  Parsons,  differs 
materially  from  Sutter's  account.  The  d 
the  discovery  given  in  that  book  is  January  10, 


1 58 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


1848.  On  the  morning  of  that  day  Marshall, 
after  shutting  off  the  water,  walked  down  the 
tailrace  to  see  what  sand  and  gravel  had  been 
removed  during  the  night.  (The  water  was 
turned  into  the  tailrace  during  the  night  to  cut 
it  deeper.)  While  examining  a  mass  of  debris, 
"his  eve  caught  the  glitter  of  something  that  lay 
lodged  in  a  crevice  on  a  riffle  of  soft  granite 
some  six  inches  under  water."  Picking  up  the 
nugget  and  examining  it,  he  became  satisfied 
that  it  must  be  one  of  three  substances — mica. 
sulphurets  of  copper,  or  gold.  Its  weight  satis- 
fied him  that  it  was  not  mica.  Knowing  that 
gold  was  malleable,  he  placed  the  specimen  on 
a  flat  rock  and  struck  it  with  another;  it  bent. 
but  did  not  crack  or  break.  He  was  satisfied 
that  it  was  gold.  lie  showed  the  nugget  to  his 
men.  In  the  course  of  a  few  days  he  had  col- 
lected several  ounces  of  precious  metal.  "Some 
four  days  after  the  discovery  it  became  necessary 
for  him  to  go  below,  for  Sutter  had  failed  to 
send  a  supply  of  provisions  to  the  mill,  and  the 
men  were  on  short  commons.  While  on  his  way 
down  he  discovered  gold  in  a  ravine  at  a  place 
afterwards  known  as  Mormon  island.  Arrived 
at  the  fort,  he  interviewed  Sutter  in  his  private 
office  and  showed  him  about  three  ounces  of 
gold  nuggets.  Sutter  did  not  believe  it  to  be 
gold,  but  after  weighing  it  in  scales  against  ?vV-25 
worth  of  silver,  all  the  coin  they  could  raise  at 
the  fort,  and  testing  it  with  nitric  acid  obtained 
from  the  gun  shop,  Sutter  became  convinced  and 
returned  to  the  mill  with  Marshall.  So  little  did 
the  workmen  at  the  mill  value  the  discovery  that 
they  continued  to  work  for  Sutter  until  the  mill 
was  completed,  March  11,  six  weeks  after  the 
nuggets  were  found  in  the  tailrace. 

The  news  of  the  discovery  spread  slowly.  It  was 
two  months  in  reaching  San  Francisco,  although 
the  distance  is  not  over  one  hundred  and  twenty- 
five  miles.  The  great  rush  to  the  mines  from 
San  Francisco  did  nut  begin  until  the  middle  of 
May,  nearly  four  months  after  the  discovery.  <  m 
the  iotli  of  May,  Dr.  Brooks,  who  was  in  San 
Francisco,  writes:  "A  number  of  people  have  ac- 
tually started  off  with  shovels,  mattocks  and 
pans  to  dig  the  gold  themselves.  It  is  not  likely, 
however,  that  this  will  be  allowed,  fur  Captain 
Folsom  has  already   written  to  Colonel    VTason 


about  taking  possession  of  the  mine  on  behalf  of 
the  government,it  being, he  says, on  public  land." 

As  the  people  began  to  realize  the  richness 
and  extent  of  the  discovery,  the  excitement  in- 
creased rapidly.  May  17.  Dr.  Brooks  writes: 
"This  place  (San  Francisco)  is  now  in  a  perfect 
furore  of  excitement:  all  the  workpeople  have 
struck.  Walking  through  the  town  to-day,  I 
observed  that  laborers  were  employed  only  upon 
about  half  a  dozen  of  the  fifty  new  buildings 
which  were  in  course  of  being  run  up.  The 
majority  of  the  mechanics  at  this  place  are  mak- 
ing preparations  for  moving  off  to  the  mines, 
and  several  people  of  all  classes — lawyers,  store- 
keepers, merchants,  etc.,  are  smitten  with  the 
fever;  in  fact,  there  is  a  regular  gold  mania 
springing  up.  I  counted  no  less  than  eighteen 
houses  which  were  closed,  the  owners  having 
left.  If  Colonel  Alason  is  moving  a  force  to 
the  American  Fork,  as  is  reported  here,  their 
journey  will  be  in  vain." 

Colonel  Mason's  soldiers  moved  without 
orders — they  nearly  all  deserted,  and  ran  off  to 
the  mines. 

The  first  newspaper  announcement  of  the 
discovery  appeared  in  The  Californian  of  March 
15,  [848,  nearly  two  months  after  the  discovery. 
But  little  attention  was  paid  to  it.  In  the  issue 
of  April  19,  another  discovery  is  reported.  The 
item  reads:  "New  gold  mine.  It  is  stated  that 
a  new  gold  mine  has  been  discovered  on  the 
American  Fork  of  the  Sacramento,  supposed  to 
be  on  the  land  of  W.  A.  Leidesdorff.  of  this 
place.  A  specimen  of  the  gold  has  been  ex- 
hibited, and  is  represented  to  be  very  pure." 
On  the  29th  of  May,  The  Californian  had  sus- 
pended publication.  "Othello's  occupation  is 
gone,"  wails  the  editor.  "The  majority  of  our 
subscribers  and  many  of  our  advertising  patrons 
have  closed  their  doors  and  places  of  business 
and  left  town,  and  we  have  received  one  order 
after  another  conveying  the  pleasant  request  that 
the  printer  will  please  stop  my  paper  or  my  ad, 
as  I  am  about  leaving  for  Sacramento." 

The  editor  of  the  other  paper,  The  California 
Slav,  made  a  pilgrimage  to  the  mines  in  the  lat- 
ter part  of  April,  but  gave  them  no  extended 
write-up.  "Great  country,  fine  climate,"  he  wrote 
on   his   return.     "Full   flowing  streams,   mighty 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL  RECORD. 


159 


timber,  large  crops,  luxuriant  clover,  fragrant 
flowers,  gold  and  silver,"  were  his  comments  on 
what  he  saw.  The  policy  of  both  papers  seems 
to  have  been  to  ignore  as  much  as  possible  the 
gold  discovery.  To  give  it  publicity  was  for  a 
time,  at  least,  to  lose  their  occupation. 

In  The  Star  of  May  20,  1848,  its  eccentric 
editor,  E.  C.  Kemble,  under  the  caption  "El 
Dorado  Anew,"  discourses  in  a  dubious  manner 
upon  the  effects  of  the  discovery  and  the  extent 
of  the  gold  fields:  "A  terrible  visitant  we  have 
had  of  late.  A  fever  which  has  well-nigh  de- 
populated a  town,  a  town  hard  pressing  upon  a 
thousand  souls,  and  but  for  the  gracious  inter- 
position of  the  elements,  perhaps  not  a  goose 
would  have  been  spared  to  furnish  a  quill  to  pen 
the  melancholy  fate  of  the  remainder.  It  has 
preyed  upon  defenseless  old  age,  subdued  the 
elasticity  of  careless  youth  and  attacked  indis- 
criminately sex  and  class,  from  town  councilman 
to  tow-frocked  cartman,  from  tailor  to  tippler, 
of  which,  thank  its  pestilential  powers,  it  has 
beneficially  drained  (of  tipplers,  we  mean)  every 
villainous  pulperia  in  the  place. 

"And  this  is  the  gold  fever,  the  only  form  of 
that  popular  southerner,  yellow  jack,  with  which 
we  can  be  alarmingly  threatened.  The  insatiate 
maw  of  the  monster,  not  appeased  by  the  easy 
conquest  of  the  rough-fisted  yeomanry  of  the 
north,  must  needs  ravage  a  healthy,  prosperous 
place  beyond  his  dominion  and  turn  the  town 
topsy-turvy  in  a  twinkling. 

"A  fleet  of  launches  left  this  place  on  Sunday 
and  Monday  last  bound  up  the  Sacramento  river, 
close  stowed  with  human  beings,  led  by  love  of 
filthy  lucre  to  the  perennial  yielding  gold  mines 
of  the  north.  When  any  man  can  find  two  ounces 
a  day  and  two  thousand  men  can  find  their 
hands  full,  of  work,  was  there  ever  anything  so 
superlatively  silly! 

"Honestly,  though,  we  are  inclined  to  believe 
the  reputed  wealth  of  that  section  of  country, 
thirty  miles  in  extent,  all  sham,  a  superb  take-in 
as  was  ever  got  up  to  guzzle  the  gullible.  But 
it  is  not  improbable  that  this  mine,  or,  properly, 
placer  of  gold  can  be  traced  as  far  south  as  tin- 
city  of  Los  Angeles,  where  the  precious  metal 
has  been  found  for  a  number  of  years  in  the  bed 
of  a   stream    issuing   from   its   mountains,   said 


to  be  a  continuation  of  this  gold  chain  which 
courses  southward  from  the  base  of  the  snowy 
mountains.  But  our  best  information  respecting 
the  metal  and  the  quantity  in  which  it  is  gath- 
ered varies  much  from  many  reports  current,  yet 
it  is  beyond  a  question  that  no  richer  mines  of 
gold  have  ever  been  discovered  upon  this  con- 
tinent. 

"Should  there  be  no  paper  forthcoming  on 
Saturday  next,  our  readers  may  assure  them- 
selves it  will  not  be  the  fault  of  us  individually. 
To  make  the  matter  public,  already  our  devil  has 
rebelled,  our  pressman  (poor  fellow)  last  seen 
was  in  search  of  a  pickaxe,  and  we  feel  like  Mr. 
Hamlet,  we  shall  never  again  look  upon  the 
likes  of  him.  Then,  too,  our  compositors  have, 
in  defiance,  sworn  terrible  oaths  against  tvpe- 
sticking  as  vulgar  and  unfashionable.  Hope  has 
not  yet  fled  us,  but  really,  in  the  phraseology 
of  the  day,  'things  is  getting  curious.'  " 

And  things  kept  getting  more  and  more  curi- 
ous. The  rush  increased.  The  next  issue  of 
The  Star  (May  2j)  announces  that  the  Sacra- 
mento, a  first-class  craft,  left  here  Thursday  last 
thronged  with  passengers  for  the  gold  mines, 
a  motley  assemblage,  composed  of  lawyers,  mer- 
chants, grocers,  carpenters,  cartmen  and  cooks, 
all  possessed  with  the  desire  of  becoming  rich. 
The  latest  accounts  from  the  gold  country  are 
highly  flattering.  Over  three  hundred  men  are 
engaged  in  washing  gold,  and  numbers  are  con- 
tinually arriving  from  every  part  of  the  country. 
Then  the  editor  closes  with  a  wail:  "Persons 
recently  arrived  from  the  country  speak  of 
ranches  deserted  and  crops  neglected  and  suf- 
fered to  waste.  The  unhappy  consequence  of 
this  state  of  affairs  is  easily  foreseen.  One  more 
twinkle,  and  The  Star  disappeared  in  the  gloom. 
On  June  14  appeared  a  single  sheet,  the  size  of 
foolscap.  The  editor  announced:  "In  fewer 
words  than  are  usually  employed  in  the  an- 
nouncement of  similar  events,  we  appear  before 
the  remnant  of  a  reading  community  on  this 
occasion  with  the  material  or  immaterial  in- 
formation that  we  have  stopped  the  paper,  that 
its  publication  ceased  with  the  last  regular  issue 
(June  7).    On  the  appi  nun,  we  shall 

again  appear  to  announce  Tlie  Star's  redivus. 
We  have  done.     Let  our  parting  word  be  hasto 


HISTORICAL   AXD   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


luego."  (Star  and  Calif omian  reappeared  No- 
vember 14,  1848.  The  Star  had  absorbed  The 
California^  L.  C.  Kemble  was  its  editor  and 
proprietor.) 

Although  there  was  no  paper  in  existence  on 
the  coast  to  spread  the  news  from  the  gold 
fields,  it  found  its  way  out  of  California,  and 
the  rush  from  abroad  began.  It  did  not  acquire 
great  force  in  1848,  but  in  1849  the  immigration 
to  California  exceeded  all  previous  migrations 
in  the  history  of  the  race. 

Among  the  first  foreigners  to  rush  to  the 
mines  were  the  Mexicans  of  Sonora.  Many  of 
these  had  had  some  experience  in  placer  mining 
in  their  native  country,  and  the  report  of  rich 
placers  in  California,  where  gold  could  be  had 
for  the  picking  up,  aroused  them  from  their  lazy 
self-content  and  stimulated  them  to  go  in  search 
of  it.  Traveling  in  squads  of  from  fifty  to  one 
hundred,  they  came  by  the  old  Auza  trail  across 
the  Colorado  desert,  through  the  San  Gorgonio 
Pass,  then  up  the  coast  and  on  to  the  mines. 
They  were  a  job  lot  of  immigrants, poor  in  purse 
and  poor  in  brain.  They  were  despised  by  the 
native  Californians  and  maltreated  by  the  Amer- 
icans. Their  knowledge  of  mining  came  in  play, 
and  the  more  provident  among  them  soon  man- 
aged to  pick  up  a  few  thousand  dollars,  and  then 
returned  to  their  homes,  plutocrats.  The  im- 
provident gambled  away  their  earnings  and  re- 
mained in  the  country  to  add  to  its  criminal  ele- 
ment. The  Oregonians  came  in  force,  and  all 
the  towns  in  California  were  almost  depopulated 
of  their  male  population.  By  the  close  of  1848, 
there  were  ten  thousand  men  at  work  in  the 
mines. 

The  first  official  report  of  the  discovery  was 
sent  to  Washington  by  Thomas  O.  Larkin,  June 
1,  and  reached  its  destination  about  the  middle 
of  September.  Lieutenant  P.eale,  by  way  of 
Mexico,  brought  dispatches  dated  a  month  later, 
which  arrived  about  the  same  time  as  Larkin's 
report.  These  accounts  were  published  in  the 
eastern  papers,  and  the  excitement  began. 

In  the  early  part  of  December,  Lieutenant 
Loeser  arrived  at  Washington  with  Governor 
Mason's  report  of  his  observations  in  the  mines 
made  in  August.  But  the  most  positive  evidence 
was  a  tea  caddy  of  gold  dust  containing  about 


two  hundred  and  thirty  ounces  that  Governor 
Mason  had  caused  to  be  purchased  in  the  mines 
with  money  from  the  civil  service  fund.  This  the 
lieutenant  had  brought  with  him.  It  was  placed 
on  exhibition  at  the  war  office.  Here  was  tan- 
gible evidence  of  the  existence  of  gold  in  Cali- 
fornia, the  doubters  were  silenced  and  the  ex- 
citement was  on  and  the  rush  began. 

By  the  1st  of  January,  1849,  vessels  were  fit- 
ting out  in  every  seaport  on  the  Atlantic  coast 
and  the  Gulf  of  Mexico.  Sixty  ships  were  an- 
nounced to  sail  from  Xew  York  in  February  and 
seventy  from  Philadelphia  and  Boston.  All  kinds 
of  crafts  were  pressed  into  the  service,  some  to 
go  by  way  of  Cape  Horn,  others  to  land  their 
passengers  at  Vera  Cruz,  Nicaragua  and  Pana- 
ma, the  voyagers  to  take  their  chances  on  the 
Pacific  side  for  a  passage  on  some  unknown 
vessel. ' 

With  opening  of  spring,  the  overland  travel 
began.  Forty  thousand  men  gathered  at  differ- 
ent points  on  the  Missouri  river,  but  principally 
at  St.  Joseph  and  Independence.  Horses,  mules, 
oxen  and  cows  were  used  for  the  propelling 
power  of  the  various  forms  of  vehicles  that  were 
to  convey  the  provisions  and  other  impedimenta 
of  the  army  of  gold  seekers.  By  the  1st  of  May 
the  grass  was  grown  enough  on  the  plains  to 
furnish  feed  for  the  stock,  and  the  vanguard  of 
the  grand  army  of  gold  hunters  started.  For 
two  months,  company  after  company  left  the 
rendezvous  and  joined  the  procession  until  for 
one  thousand  miles  there  was  an  almost  un- 
broken line  of  wagons  and  pack  trains.  The 
first  half  of  the  journey  was  made  with  little 
inconvenience,  but  on  the  last  part  there  was 
great  suffering  and  loss  of  life.  The  cholera 
broke  out  among  them,  and  it  is  estimated  that 
five  thousand  died  on  the  plains.  The  alkali 
desert  of  the  Humboldt  was  the  place  where  the 
immigrants  suffered  most.  Exhausted  by  the 
l«mg  journey  and  weakened  by  lack  of  food, 
many  succumbed  under  the  hardship  of  the  des- 
1  it  journey  and  died.  The  crossing  of  the  Sierras 
was  attended  with  great  hardships.  From  the 
loss  of  their  horses  and  oxen,  many  were  com- 
pelled to  cross  the  mountains  on  foot.  Their 
provisions  exhausted,  they  would  have  perished 
but    for    relief    sent    out   from    California.    The 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL  RECORD. 


greatest  sufferers  were  the  woman  and  children, 
who  in  considerable  numbers  made  the  perilous 
journey. 

The  overland  immigration  of  1850  exceeded 
that  of  1849.  According  to  record  kept  at  Fort 
Laramie,  there  passed  that  station  during  the 
season  thirty-nine  thousand  men,  two  thousand 
five  hundred  women  and  six  hundred  children, 
making  a  total  of  forty-two  thousand  one  hun- 
dred persons.  These  immigrants  had  with  them 
when  passing  Fort  Laramie  twenty-three  thou- 
sand horses,  eight  thousand  mules,  three  thou- 
sand six  hundred  oxen,  seven  thousand  cows 
and  nine  thousand  wagons. 

Besides  those  coming  by  the  northern  route, 
that  is  by  the  South  Pass  and  the  Humboldt 
river,  at  least  ten  thousand  found  their  way  to 
the  land  of  gold  by  the  old  Spanish  trail,  by  the 
Gila  route  and  by  Texas,  Coahuila  and  Chihua- 
hua into  Arizona,  and  thence  across  the  Colo- 
rado desert  to  Los  Angeles,  and  from  there  by 
the  coast  route  or  the  San  Joaquin  valley  to  the 
mines. 

The  Pacific  Mail  Steamship  Company  had 
been  organized  before  the  discovery  of  gold  in 
California.  March  3,  1847,  an  act  °f  Congress 
was  passed  authorizing  the  secretary  of  the  navy 
to  advertise  for  bids  to  carry  the  United  States 
mails  by  one  line  of  steamers  between  New 
York  and  Chagres,  and  by  another  line  between 
Panama  and  Astoria,  Ore.  On  the  Atlantic  side 
the  contract  called  for  five  ships  of  one  thousand 
five  hundred  tons  burden,  on  the  Pacific  side  two 
of  one  thousand  tons  each,  and  one  of  six  hun- 
dred tons.  These  were  deemed  sufficient  for  the 
trade  and  travel  between  the  Atlantic  and  Pacific 
coasts  of  the  United  States.  The  Pacific  Mail 
Steamship  Company  was  incorporated  April  12. 
1848,  with  a  capital  stock  of  $500,000.  October 
6,  1848,  the  California,  the  first  steamer  for  the 
Pacific,  sailed  from  New  York,  and  was  followed 
in  the  two  succeeding  months  by  the  Oregon 
and  the  Panama.  The  California  sailed  before 
the  news  of  the  gold  discovery  had  reached  New- 
York,  and  she  had  taken  no  passengers.  When 
she  arrived  at  Panama,  January  30,  1849,  she 
encountered  a  rush  of  fifteen  hundred  gold  hunt- 
ers, clamorous  for  a  passage.  These  had  reached 
Chagres   on    sailing   vessels,   and    ascended   the 


Chagres  river  in  bongos  or  dugouts  to  Gor- 
gona,  and  from  thence  by  land  to  Panama.  The 
California  had  accommodations  for  only  one 
hundred,  but  four  hundred  managed  to  find 
some  place  to  stow  themselves  away.  The  price 
of  tickets  rose  to  a  fabulous  sum,  as  high  as 
$1,000  having  been  paid  for  a  steerage  passage. 
The  California  entered  the  bay  of  San  Francisco 
February  28,  [849,  and  was  greeted  by  the  boom 
of  cannon  and  the  cheers  of  thousands  of  people 
'lining  the  shores  of  the  bay.  The  other  two 
steamers  arrived  on  time,  and  the  Pacific  Mail 
Steamship  Company  became  the  predominant 
factor  in  California  travel  for  twenty  years,  or  up 
to  the  completion  of  the  first  transcontinental 
railroad  in  1869.  The  charges  for  fare  on  these 
steamers  in  the  early  '50s  were  prohibitory  to 
men  of  small  means.  From  New  York  to 
Chagres  in  the  saloon  the  fare  was  $150.  111  the 
cabin  $120.  From  Panama  to  San  Francisco  in 
the  saloon,  $250;  cabin,  $200.  Add  to  these  the 
expense  of  crossing  the  isthmus,  and  the  argo- 
naut was  out  a  goodly  sum  when  he  reached  the 
land  of  the  golden  fleece,  indeed,  he  was  often 
fleeced  of  his  last  dollar  before  he  entered  the 
Golden  Gate. 

The  first  effect  of  the  gold  discovery  on  San 
Francisco,  as  we  have  seen,  was  to  depopulate 
it,  and  of  necessity  suspend  all  building  opera- 
tions. In  less  than  three  months  the  reaction 
began,  and  the  city  experienced  one  of  the  most 
magical  booms  in  history.  Real  estate  doubled 
in  some  instances  in  twenty-four  hours.  The 
California}!  of  September  3,  1848,  says:  "Flu- 
vacant  lot  on  the  corner  of  Montgomery  and 
Washington  streets  was  offered  the  day  previous 
for  $5,000  and  next  day  sold  readily  for  $10,000." 
Lumber  went  up  in  value  until  it  was  sold  at  a 
dollar  per  square  font.  Wages  kept  pace  with 
the  general  advance.  Sixteen  dollars  a  day  was 
mechanic's  wages,  and  the  labor  market  was  not 
overstocked  even  at  these  high  rates.  With  the 
approach  of  winter,  the  gold  -  ekers  came  dock- 
ing back  to  the  city  to  find 
their  suddenly  acquired  wealth.  The  latti 
easily  accomplished,  but  the  former  was  more 
difficult.  Any  kind  of  a  shelter  that  would  keep 
out  the  rain  was  utilized  for  a  dwelling.  Rows 
of  tents  that  circled  around  the  business  por- 


L62 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL    RECORD. 


tion,  shanties  patched  together  from  pieces  of 
packing  boxes  and  sheds  thatched  with  brush 
from  the  chaparral-covered  hills  constituted 
the  principal  dwellings  at  that  time  of  the  future 
metropolis  of  California.  The  yield  of  the  mines 
for  1848  has  been  estimated  at  ten  million 
dollars.  This  was  the  result  of  only  a  few 
months'  labor  of  not  to  exceed  at  any  time  ten 
thousand  men.  The  rush  of  miners  did  not 
reach  the  mines  until  July,  and  mining  opera- 
tions were  mainly  suspended  by  the  middle  of 
October. 

New  discoveries  had  followed  in  quick  suc- 
cession Marshall's  find  at  Coloma  until  by  the 
close  of  1848  gold  placers  had  been  located  on 
all  the  principal  tributaries  of  the  Sacramento 
and  San  Joaquin  rivers.  Some  of  the  richest 
yields  were  obtained  from  what  was  known  as 
"Dry  Diggins."  These  were  dry  ravines  from 
which  pay  dirt  had  to  be  packed  to  water  for 
washing  or  the  gold  separated  by  dry  washing, 
tossing  the  earth  into  the  air  until  it  was 
blown  away  by  the  wind,  the  gold,  on  account 
of  its  weight,  remaining  in  the  pan. 

A  correspondent  of  the  Calif ornian,  writing- 
August  15,  1848,  from  what  he  designates  as 
"Dry  Diggins,"  gives  this  account  of  the  rich- 
ness of  that  gold  field:  "At  the  lower  mines 
(Mormon  Island)  the  miners  count  the  success 
of  the  day  in  dollars;  at  the  upper  mines  near 
the  mill  (Coloma),  in  ounces,  and  here  in 
pounds.  The  only  instrument  used  at  first  was 
a  butcher  knife,  and  the  demand  for  that  ar- 
ticle was  so  great  that  $40  has  been  refused 
for  one. 


"The  earth  is  taken  out  of  the  ravines  which 
make  out  of  the  mountains  and  is  carried  in 
wagons  or  packed  on  horses  from  one  to  three 
miles  to  water  and  washed.  Four  hundred  dol- 
lars is  the  average  to  the  cart  load.  In  one  in- 
stance five  loads  yielded  $16,000.  Instances  are 
known  here  where  men  have  carried  the  earth 
on  their  backs  and  collected  from  $800  to  $1,500 
a  day." 

The  rapidity  with  which  the  country  was  ex- 
plored by  prospectors  was  truly  remarkable. 
The  editor  of  the  California)!,  who  had  sus- 
pended the  publication  of  his  paper  on  May  29 
to  visit  the  mines,  returned  and  resumed  it  on 
July  15  (1848).  In  an  editorial  in  that  issue  he 
gives  his  observations:  "The  country  from  the 
Ajuba  (Yuba)  to  the  San  Joaquin  rivers,  a  dis- 
tance of  one  hundred  and  twenty  miles,  and 
from  the  base  toward  the  summit  of  the  moun- 
tains as  lar  as  Snow  Hill,  about  seventy  miles, 
has  been  explored,  and  gold  found  in  every 
part.  There  are  probably  three  thousand  men, 
including  Indians,  engaged  in  collecting  gold. 
The  amount  collected  by  each  man  who  w^orks 
ranges  from  $10  to  $350  per  day.  The  publisher 
of  this  paper,  while  on  a  tour  alone  to  the  min- 
ing district,  collected,  with  the  aid  of  a  shovel, 
pick  and  pan,  from  $44  to  $128  a  day,  averag- 
ing about  $100.  The  largest  piece  of  gold 
known  to  be  found  weighed  four  pounds." 
Among  other  remarkable  yields  the  Calif  ornian 
reports  these:  "One  man  dug  $12,000  in  six 
clays,  and  three  others  obtained  thirty-six 
pounds  of  pure  metal  in  one  day." 


CHAPTER   XXIV. 


MAKING    A    STATE. 


COL.  R.  B.  MASON,  who  had  been 
the  military  governor  of  California  since 
the  departure  of  General  Kearny  in 
May.  1847.  had  grown  weary  of  his  task.  He 
had  been  in  the  military  service  of  his  country 
thirty  years  and  wished  to  be  relieved.  His 
request  was  granted,  and  on  the  12th  of  April. 
[849,   Brevel    Brigadier  General   Bennett  Riley, 


his  successor,  arrived  at  Monterey  and  the  next 
day  entered  upon  his  duties  as  civil  governor. 
Gen.  Persifer  F.  Smith,  who  had  been  appointed 
commander  of  the  Pacific  division  of  the  United 
States  army,  arrived  at  San  Francisco  Febru- 
ary 2<i.  1849,  and  relieved  Colonel  Mason  of 
his- military  command.  A  brigade  of  troops 
six   hundred   and   fifty   Strong  had   been    sent  to 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


L63 


California  for  military  service  on  the  border 
and  to  maintain  order.  Most  of  these  promptly 
deserted  as  soon  as  an  opportunity  offered  and 
found  their  way  to  the  mines. 

Colonel  Mason,  who  under  the  most  trying- 
circumstances  had  faithfully  served  his  govern- 
ment and  administered  justice  to  the  people  of 
California,  took  his  departure  May  i,  [849. 
The  same  year  he  died  at  St.  Louis  of  cholera. 
A  year  had  passed  since  the  treaty  of  peace 
with  Mexico  had  been  signed,  which  made  Cali- 
fornia United  States  territory,  but  Congress 
had  done  nothing  toward  giving  it  a  govern-, 
ment.  The  anomalous  condition  existed  of  citi- 
zens of  the  United  States,  living  in  the  United 
States,  being  governed  by  Mexican  laws  admin- 
istered by  a  mixed  constituency  of  Mexican- 
born  and  American-born  officials.  The  pro- 
slavery  element  in  Congress  was  determined  to 
foist  the  curse  of  human  slavery  on  a  portion 
of  the  territory  acquired  from  Mexico,  but  the 
discovery  of  gold  and  the  consequent  rush  of 
freemen  to  the  territory  had  disarranged  the 
plans  of  the  slave-holding  faction  in  Congress, 
and  as  a  consequence  all  legislation  was  at  a 
standstill. 

The  people  were  becoming  restive  at  the  long 
delay.  The  Americanized  Mexican  laws  and 
forms  of  government  were  unpopular  and  it 
was  humiliating  to  the  conqueror  to  be  gov- 
erned by  the  laws  of  the  people  conquered. 
The  question  of  calling  a  convention  to  form  a 
provisional  government  was  agitated  by  the 
newspapers  and  met  a  hearty  response  from  the 
people.  Meetings  were  held  at  San  Jose,  De- 
cember 11,  1848;  at  San  Francisco,  December 
21,  and  at  Sacramento,  January  6,  1849,  to 
consider  the  question  of  establishing  a  pro- 
visional government.  It  was  recommended  by 
the  San  Jose  meeting  that  a  convention  be  held 
at  that  place  on  the  second  Alonday  of  January. 
The  San  Francisco  convention  recommended 
the  5th  of  March;  this  the  Monterey  committee 
considered  too  early  as  it  would  take  the  dele- 
gates from  below  fifteen  days  to  reach  the  pu- 
eblo of  San  Jose.  There  was  no  regular  mail 
and  the  roads  in  February  (when  the  delegates 
would  have  to  start)  were  impassable.  ["he 
committee  recommended  May  1  as  the  earliest 


date  for  the  meeting  to  consider  the  question  of 
calling  of  a  convention.  Sonoma,  without  wait- 
ing, took  the  initiative  and  elected  ten  delegates 
to  a  provisional  government  convention.  There 
was  no  unanimity  in  regard  to  the  time  of  meet- 
ting  or  as  to  what  could  be  done  if  the  conven- 
tion met.  It  was  finally  agreed  to  postpone  the 
time  of  meeting  to  the  first  Monday  of  August, 
when,  if  Congress  had  done  nothing  towards 
giving  California  some  form  of  government  bet- 
ter than  that  existing,  the  convention  should 
meet  and  organize  a  provisional  government. 

The  local  government  of  San  Francisco  had 
become  so  entangled  and  mixed  up  by  various 
councils   that    it    was   doubtful   whether   it   had 
any  legal  legislative  body.     When  the  term  of 
the    first    council,    which    had    been    authorized 
by   Colonel   Mason   in    1848,   was  about  to  ex- 
pire   an   election   was     held     December     27 .    to 
choose   their   successors.     Seven   new   council- 
men    were    chosen.      The    old    council    declared 
the  election  fraudulent  and  ordered  a  new  one. 
An  election  was  held,  notwithstanding  the  pro- 
test of  a  number  of  the  best  citizens,  and  an- 
other council  chosen.     So  the  city  was  blessed 
or  cursed  with  three  separate  and  distincl  coun- 
cils.     The   old   council    voted   itself   out    of   ex- 
istence and  then  there  were  but  two,  but  that 
was  one  too  many.     Then  the  people,  disgusted 
with   the  condition   of    affairs,    called    a  public 
meeting,    at    which    it   was    decided    to   elect   a 
legislative  assembly    of    fifteen    members,  who 
should  be   empowered   to   make   the   necessary 
laws  for  the  government  of  the  city.    An  election 
was  held  on  the  21st  of  February,  1849,  and  a 
legislative  assembly  and  justices  elected.     Then 
Alcalde    Leyenworth    refused    to   turn    over   the 
city  records  to  the  Chief  Magistrate-elecl  Nor- 
ton.    On  the  22d  of  .March   the   legislative  as- 
sembly   abolished    the    office    of    alcalde,    but 
Levenworth   still  held  on  to  the  records.     He 
was  finally  compelled  by  public  opinion  and  a 
writ  of  replevin  to  surrender  the  official  n 
to   Judge    Norton.     The    confusion    constantly 
arising  from  thi  i\  em- 

inent that  was  semi-military  and  semi-Mexican 
induced  Governor  Rile)  to  order  an  election  to 
be  held  August  tst,  to  eleel  delegates  to  a 
convention  to  meet  in  Monterey  Septembi 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


1849,  to  form  a  state  constitution  or  territorial 
organization  to  be  ratified  by  the  people  and 
submitted  to  Congress  for  its  approval.  Judges, 
prefects  and  alcaldes  were  to  be  elected  at  the 
same  time  in  the  principal  municipal  districts. 
The  constitutional  convention  was  to  consist  of 
thirty-seven  delegates,  apportioned  as  follows: 
San  Diego  two,  Los  Angeles  four,  Santa  Bar- 
bara two,  San  Luis  Obispo  two,  Monterey  five, 
San  Jose"  five,  San  Francisco  five,  Sonoma  four, 
Sacramento  four,  and  San  Joaquin  four.  In- 
stead of  thirty-seven  delegates  as  provided  for 
in  the  call,  forty-eight  were  elected  and  seated. 

The  convention  met  September  1,  1849,  at 
Monterey  in  Colton  Hall.  This  was  a  stone 
building  erected  by  Alcalde  Walter  Colton  for 
a  town  hall  and  school  house.  The  money  to 
build  it  was  derived  partly  from  fines  and  partly 
from  subscriptions,  the  prisoners  doing  the 
greater  part  of  the  work.  It  was  the  most 
commodious  public  building  at  that  time  in  the 
territory. 

Of  the  forty-eight  delegates  elected  twenty- 
two  were  natives  of  the  northern  states;  fifteen 
of  the  slave  states;  four  were  of  foreign  birth, 
and  seven  were  native  Californians.  Several  of 
the  latter  neither  spoke  nor  understood  the 
English  language  and  William  E.  P.  Hartnell 
was  appointed  interpreter.  Dr.  Robert  Semple 
of  Bear  Flag  fame  was  elected  president,  Will- 
iam G.  Marcy  and  J.  Ross  Browne  reporters. 

Early  in  the  session  the  slavery  question  was 
disposed  of  by  the  adoption  of  a  section  declar- 
ing that  neither  slavery  or  involuntary  servitude, 
unless  for  the  punishment  of  crimes,  shall  ever 
be  tolerated  in  this  state.  The  question  of  fix- 
ing the  boundaries  of  the  future  state  excited 
the  most  discussion.  The  pro-slavery  faction 
was  led  by  William  M.  Gwin,  who  had  a  few 
months  before  migrated  from  Tennessee  to 
California  with  the  avowed  purpose  of  repre- 
senting the  new  state  in  the  United  States  sen- 
ate. The  scheme  of  Gwin  and  his  southern  as- 
sociates was  to  make  the  Rocky  mountains  the 
i  astern  boundary.  This  would  create  a  state 
with  an  era  of  about  four  hundred  thousand 
square  miles.  They  reasoned  that  when  the 
admission  of  the  state  came  before  congress  the 
southern  members  would  oppose  the  admission 


of  so  large  an  area  under  a  free  state  constitu- 
tion and  that  ultimately  a  compromise  might 
be  effected.  California  would  be  split  in  two 
from  east  to  west,  the  old  dividing  line,  the 
parallel  of  360  30',  would  be  established  and 
Southern  California  come  into  the  Union  as  a 
slave  state.  There  were  at  that  time  fifteen 
free  and  fifteen  slave  states.  If  two  states,  one 
free  and  one  slave,  could  be  made  out  of  Califor- 
nia, the  equilibrium  between  the  opposing  fac- 
tions would  be  maintained.  The  Rocky  moun- 
tain boundary  was  at  one  time  during  the  ses- 
sion adopted,  but  in  the  closing  days  of  the 
session  the  free  state  men  discovered  Gwin's 
scheme  and  it  was  defeated.  The  present  boun- 
daries were  established  by  a  majority  of  two. 

A  committee  had  been  appointed  to  receive 
propositions  and  designs  for  a  state  seal.  Only 
one  design  was  offered.  It  was  presented  by 
Caleb  Lyon  of  Lyondale,  as  he  usually  signed 
his  name,  but  was  drawn  by  Major  Robert  S. 
Garnett,  an  army  officer.  It  contained  a  figure 
of  Minerva  in  the  foreground,  a  grizzly  bear 
feeding  on  a  bunch  of  grapes;  a  miner  with  an 
uplifted  pick;  a  gold  rocker  and  pan;  a  view  of 
the  Golden  Gate  with  ships  riding  at  anchor 
in  the  Bay  of  San  Francisco;  the  peaks  of  the 
Sierra  Nevadas  in  the  distance;  a  sheaf  of  wheat ; 
thirty-one  stars  and  above  all  the  word 
"Eureka"  (I  have  found  it),  which  might  apply 
either  to  the  miner  or  the  bear.  The  design 
seems  to  have  been  an  attempt  to  advertise  the 
resources  of  the  state.  General  Vallejo  wanted 
the  bear  taken  out  of  the  design,  or  if  allowed 
to  remain,  that  he  be  made  fast  by  a  lasso  in  the 
hands  of  a  vaquero.  This  amendment  was  re- 
jected, as  was  also  one  submitted  by  O.  M. 
Wozencraft  to  strike  out  the  figures  of  the  gold 
digger  and  the  bear  and  introduce  instead  bales 
of  merchandise  and  bags  of  gold.  The  original 
design  was  adopted  with  the  addition  of  the 
words,  "The  Great  Seal  of  the  State  of  Califor- 
nia." The  convention  voted  to  give  Lyon  $1,000 
as  full  compensation  for  engraving  the  seal  and 
furnishing  the  press  and  all  appendages. 

Garnett,  the  designer  of  the  seal,  was  a  Vir- 
ginian by  birth.  He  graduated  from  West 
Point  in  1841,  served  through  the  Mexican  war 
and  through  several  of  the  Indian  wars  on  the 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


1G5 


Pacific  coast.  At  the  breaking  out  of  the  re- 
bellion in  1861  he  joined  the  Confederates  and 
was  made  a  brigadier  general.  He  was  killed 
at  the  battle  of  Carrick's  Ford  July  15,  1S61. 

The  constitution  was  completed  on  the  nth 
of  October  and  an  election  was  called  by  Gov- 
ernor Riley  to  be  held  on  the  13th  of  November 
to  vote  upon  the  adoption  of  the  constitution 
and  to  elect  state  officers,  a  legislature  and  mem- 
bers of  congress. 

At  the  election  Peter  H.  Burnett,  recently 
from  Oregon  territory,  who  had  been  quite 
active  in  urging  the  organization  of  a  state  gov- 
ernment, was  chosen  governor;  John  McDou- 
gall,  lieutenant  governor,  and  George  W. 
Wright  and  Edward  Gilbert  members  of  con- 
gress. San  Jose  had  been  designated  by  the 
constitutional  convention  the  capital  of  the  state 
pro  tern. 

The  people  of  San  Jose  had  pledged  them- 
selves to  provide  a  suitable  building  for  the 
meeting  of  the  legislature  in  hopes  that  their 
town  might  be  made  the  permanent  capital. 
They  were  unable  to  complete  the  building  de- 
signed for  a  state  capital  in  time  for  the  meet- 
ing. The  uncomfortable  quarters  furnished 
created  a  great  deal  of  dissatisfaction.  The  leg- 
islature consisted  of  sixteen  senators  and  thirty- 
six  assemblymen.  There  being  no  county  or- 
ganization, the  members  were  elected  by 
districts.  The  representation  was  not  equally 
distributed;  San  Joaquin  district  had  more  sen- 
ators than  San  Francisco.  The  senate  and  as- 
sembly were  organized  on  the  17th  of  Decem- 
ber. E.  K.  Chamberlain  of  San  Diego  was 
elected  president  pro  tern,  of  the  senate  and 
Thomas  J.  White  of  Sacramento  speaker  of  the 
assembly.  The  governor  and  lieutenant-gov- 
ernor were  sworn  in  on  the  20th.  The  state 
government  being  organized  the  legislature 
proceeded  to  the  election  of  United  States  sen- 
ators. The  candidates  were  T.  Butler  King, 
John  C.  Fremont,  William  M.  Gwin,  Thomas 
J.  Henly,  John  W.  Geary,  Robert  Semple  and 
H.  W.  Halleck.  Fremont  received  twenty-nine 
out  of  forty-six  votes  on  the  first  ballot  and  was 
declared  elected.  Of  the  aspirants,  T.  Butler 
King  and  William  M.  Gwin  represented  the 
ultra  pro-slavery  element.     King  was  a  cross- 


roads politician  from  down  in  Georgia,  who 
had  been  sent  to  the  coast  as  a  confidential 
agent  of  the  government.  The  officers  of  the 
arm)-  and  navy  were  enjoined  to  "in  all  matters 
aid  and  assist  him  in  carrying  out  the  views  of 
the  government  and  be  guided  by  his  advice  and 
council  in  the  conduct  of  all  proper  measures 
within  the  scope  of  those  instructions."  He 
made  a  tour  of  the  mines,  accompanied  by  Gen- 
eral Smith  and  his  staff;  Commodore  Ap  Catesby 
Jones  and  staff  and  a  cavalry  escort  under  Lieu- 
tenant Stoneman.  He  wore  a  black  stovepipe 
hat  and  a  dress  coat.  He  made  himself  the 
laughing  stock  of  the  miners  and  by  traveling 
in  the  heat  of  the  day  contracted  a  fever  that 
very  nearly  terminated  his  existence.  He  had 
been  active  so  far  as  his  influence  went  in  trying 
to  bring  California  into  the  Union  with  the  hope 
of  representing  it  in  the  senate.  Gwin  had 
come  a  few  months  before  from  Mississippi  with 
the  same  object  in  view.  Although  the  free 
state  men  were  in  the  majority  in  the  legislature 
they  recognized  the  fact  that  to  elect  two  sena- 
tors opposed  to  the  extension  of  slavery  would 
result  in  arraying  the  pro-slavery  faction  in  con- 
gress against  the  admission  of  the  state  into 
the  Union.  Of  the  two  representatives  of  the 
south,  Gwin  was  the  least  objectionable  and  on 
the  second  ballot  he  was  elected.  On  the 
21  st  Governor  Burnett  delivered  his  message. 
It  was  a  wordy  document,  but  not  marked  by 
any  very  brilliant  ideas  or  valuable  suggestions. 
Burnett  was  a  southerner  from  Missouri.  Fie 
was  hobbied  on  the  subject  of  the  exclusion  of 
free  negroes.  The  African,  free  to  earn  his  own 
living  unrestrained  by  a  master,  was,  in  his 
opinion,  a  menace  to  the  perpetuity  of  the  com- 
monwealth. 

On  the  22d  the  legislature  elected  the  remain- 
ing state  officers,  viz.:  Richard  Roman,  treas- 
urer; John  I.  Houston,  controller;  E.  J.  I'. 
Kewen,  attorney  general;  Charles  J.  Whiting, 
surveyor-general;  S.  C.  Hastings,  chief  jus- 
tice; Henry  Lyons  and  Nathaniel  Bennett,  as- 
sociate justices.  The  legislature  continued  in 
session  until  April  22.  1850.  Although  it  was 
nicknamed  the  "Legislature  of  a  thousand 
drinks.-'  it  did  a  vast  amount  of  work  and  did 
most  of  it  well.      It   was  not   made  up  of  hard 


166 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


drinkers.  The  majority  of  its  members  were 
above  the  average  legislator  in  intelligence, 
temperance  and  patriotism.  The  members  were 
not  there  for  pay  or  for  political  preferment.  They 
were  there  for  thegood  oftheir  adopted  state  and 
labored  conscientiously  for  its  benefit.  The  op- 
probrious nickname  is  said  to  have  originated 
thus:  A  roystering  individual  by  the  name  of 
Green  had  been  elected  to  the  senate  from  Sac- 
ramento as  a  joke.  He  regarded  the  whole  pro- 
ceedings as  a  huge  joke.  He  kept  a  supply  of 
liquors  on  hand  at  his  quarters  and  when  the 
legislature  adjourned  he  was  in  the  habit  of  call- 
in-:  "Come,  boys,  let  us  take  a  thousand 
thinks." 

The  state  had  set  up  housekeeping  without  a 
cent  on  hand  to  defray  expenses.  There  was  not 
a  quire  of  paper,  a  pen,  nor  an  inkstand  belong- 
ing to  the  state  and  no  money  to  buy  supplies. 
After  wrestling  with  the  financial  problem  some 
time  an  act  authorizing  a  loan  of  $200,000  for 
current  expenses  was  passed.  Later  on  in  the 
session  another  act  was  passed  authorizing  the 
bonding  of  the  state  for  $300,000  with  interest 
at  the  rate  of  three  per  cent  a  month.  The 
legislature  divided  the  state  into  twenty-seven 
counties,  created  nine  judicial  districts,  passed 
laws  for  the  collection  of  revenue,  taxing  all 
real  and  personal  property  and  imposing  a  poll 
tax  of  $5  on  all  male  inhabitants  over  twen- 
ty-one and  under  fifty  years  of  age. 

California  was  a  self-constituted  state.  It 
had  organized  a  state  government  and  put  it  int.) 
successful  operation  without  the  sanction  of 
congress.  Officials,  state,  county  and  town,  had 
been  electe  1  and  had  sworn  to  support  the  con- 
stitution of  the  state  of  California  and  yet  there 
was  really  no  state  of  California.  It  had  not 
been  admitted  into  the  Union.  It  was  only  a 
state  de  facto  and  it  continued  in  that  condition 
nine  months  before  it  became  a  state  de  jure. 

•,\  1:  ,:  (-he  question  of  admitting  California 
in  o  the  Union  came  before  congress  it  evoked 
a  bitter  controversy.  The  senate  was  equally 
divided,  thirty  senators  from  the  slave  states 
and  the  same  number  from  the  free.  There 
were  among  the  southern  senators  some  broad 
I  and  patriotic  men,  willing  to  do  what 
was    right,    but    they    were    handicapped   by    an 


ultra  pro-slavery  faction,  extremists,  who 
would  willingly  sacrifice  the  Union  if  by  that 
they  could  extend  and  perpetuate  that  sum  of 
all  villainies,  human  slavery.  This  faction  in 
the  long  controversy  resorted  to  every  known 
parliamentary  device  to  prevent  the  admission  of 
California  under  a  free  state  constitution.  To 
admit  two  senators  from  a  free  state  would  de- 
stroy the  balance  of  power.  That  gone,  it  could 
never  be  regained  by  the  south.  The  north  was 
increasing  in  power  and  population,  while  the 
south,  under  the  blighting  influence  of  slavery, 
was  retrograding. 

Henry  Clay,  the  man  of  compromises,  under- 
took to  bridge  over  the  difficulty  by  a  set  of 
resolutions  known  as  the  Omnibus  bill.  These 
were  largely  concessions  to  the  slave  holding 
faction  for  the  loss  of  the  territory  acquired  by 
the  Mexican  war.  Among  others  was  this,  that 
provision  should  be  made  by  law  for  the  restitu- 
tion of  fugitive  slaves  in  any  state  or  territory 
of  the  Union.  This  afterward  was  embodied 
into  what  was  known  as  the  fugitive  slave  law 
and  did  more  perhaps  than  any  other  cause  to 
de>tniy  the  souths  beloved  institution. 

These  resolutions  were  debated  through 
many  months  and  were  so  amended  and  changed 
that  their  author  could  scarcely  recognize  them. 
Most  of  them  were  adopted  in  some  form  and 
effected  a  temporary  compromise. 

On  August  13th  the  bill  for  the  admission 
of  California  finally  came  to  a  vote.  It  passed 
the  senate,  thirty-four  ayes  to  eighteen  noes. 
Even  then  the  opposition  did  not  cease.  Ten 
of  the  southern  pro-slavery  extremists,  led  by 
Jefferson  Davis,  joined  in  a  protest  against  the 
action  of  the  majority,  the  language  of  which 
was  an  insult  to  the  senate  and  treason  to  the 
government.  In  the  house  the  bill  passed  by  a 
vote  <>f  one  hundred  and  fifty  ayes  to  fifty-six 
ultra  southern  noes.  It  was  approved  and  signed 
by  President  Fillmore  September  9,  1850.  On 
the  nth  of  September  the  California  senators 
and  congressmen  presented  themselves  to  be 
sworn  in.  The  slave  holding  faction  in  the  sen- 
ate, headed  by  Jefferson  Davis,  who  had  been 
one  of  the  most  bitter  opponents  to  the  admis- 
sion, objected.  But  their  protest  availed  them 
nothing.      Their    ascendency    was    gone.      We 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL  RECORD. 


HJ7 


might  sympathize  with  them  had  their  fight 
been  made  for  a  noble  principle,  but  it  was  not. 
From  that  day  on  until  the  attempt  was  made 
in  1861  these  men  schemed  to  destroy  the 
Union.  The  admission  of  California  as  a  free 
state  was  the  beginning  of  the  slave  holders'  re- 
bellion. 

The  news  of  the  admission  of  California 
reached  San  Francisco  on  the  morning  of  Oc- 
tober 18,  by  the  mail  steamer  Oregon,  nearly  six 
weeks  after  congress  had  admitted  it.  Business 
was  at  once  suspended,  the  courts  were  ad- 
journed and  the  people  went  wild  with  excite- 
ment. Messengers,  mounted  on  fleet  steeds, 
spread  the  news  throughout  the  state.  News- 
papers from  the  states  containing  an  account 
of  the  proceedings  of  congress  at  the  time  of 
admission  sold  for  $5  each.  It  was  decided  to 
hold  a  formal  celebration  of  the  event  on  the 
29th  and  preparations  were  begun  for  a  grand 
demonstration.  Neither  labor  nor  money  was 
spared  to  make  the  procession  a  success.  The 
parade  was  cosmopolitan  in  the  fullest  meaning 
of  that  word.  There  were  people  in  it  from 
almost  every  nation  under  the  sun.  The  Chi- 
nese made  quite  an  imposing  spectacle  in  the 
parade.  Dressed  in  rich  native  costumes,  each 
carrying  a  gaudily  painted  fan,  they  marched 
under  command  of  their  own  marshals,  Ah  He 
and  Ah  Sing.  At  their  head  proudly  marched 
a  color  bearer  carrying  a  large  blue  silk  ban- 
ner, inscribed  the  "China  boys."  Following 
them  came  a  triumphal  car,  in  which  was  seated 
thirty  boys  in  black  trousers  and  white  shirts, 
representing  the  thirty  states.  In  the  center  of 
this  group,  seated  on  a  raised  platform,  was  a 
young  girl  robed  in  white  with  gold  and  silver 
gauze  floating  about  her  and  supporting  a 
breast  plate,  upon  which  was  inscribed  "Cali- 
fornia, the  Union,  it  must  and  shall  be  pre- 
served." The  California  pioneers  carried  a  ban- 
ner on  which  was  represented  a  New  Englander 
in  the  act  of  stepping  ashore  and  facing  a  na- 
tive Californian  with  lasso  and  serape.  In  the 
center  the  state  seal  and  the  inscription.  "Far 
west,  Eureka  1846,  California  pioneers,  or- 
ganized August,  1850."  Army  and  navy  offi- 
cers, soldiers,  sailors  and  marines,  veterans  of 
the  Mexican  war,  municipal  officers,  the  fire  de- 


partment, secret  and  benevolent  societies  and  as- 
sociations, with  a  company  of  mounted  native 
Californians  bearing  a  banner  with  thirty-one 
stars  on  a  blue  satin  ground  with  the  inscription 
in  gold  letters,  California,  E  Pluribus  Unum,  all 
these  various  organizations  and  orders  with 
their  marshals  and  aids  mounted  on  gaily 
caparisoned  steeds  and  decked  out  with  their 
gold  and  silver  trimmed  scarfs,  made  an  impos- 
ing display  that  has  seldom  if  ever  been  equaled 
since  in  the  metropolis  of  California. 

At  the  plaza  a  flag  of  thirty-one  stars  was 
raised  to  the  mast  head.  An  oration  was  de- 
livered by  Judge  Nathaniel  Bennett  and  Mrs. 
Wills  recited  an  original  ode  of  her  own  compo- 
sition. The  rejoicing  over,  the  people  settled 
down  to  business.  Their  unprecedented  action 
in  organizing  a  state  government  and  putting  it 
into  operation  without  the  sanction  of  congress 
had  been  approved  and  legalized  by  that  body. 

Like  the  Goddess  Minerva,  represented  on  its 
great  seal,  who  sprung  full  grown  from  the 
brain  of  Jupiter,  California  was  born  a  fully  ma- 
tured state.  She  passed  through  no  territorial 
probation.  Xo  state  had  such  a  phenomenal 
growth  in  its  infancy.  No  state  before  or  since 
has  met  with  such  bitter  opposition  when  it 
sought  admission  into  the  family  of  states. 
Never  before  was  there  such  a  medley  of  nation- 
alities—Yankees, Mexicans,  English,  Germans, 
French,  Spaniards,  Peruvians,  Polynesians, 
Mongolians — organized  into  a  state  and  made 
a  part  of  the  body  politic  nolens  volens. 

The  constitutional  convention  of  1849  did  not 
definitely  fix  the  state  capital.  San  Jose  was 
designated  as  the  place  of  meeting  for  the  legis- 
lature and  the  organization  of  the  state  govern- 
ment. San  Jose  had  offered  to  donate  a  square 
of  thirty-two  acres,' valued  at  $60,000,  for  cap- 
itol  grounds  and  provide  a  suitable  building  for 
the  legislature  and  state  officers.  The  offer  was 
accepted,  but  when  the  legislature  met  there 
December  15,  1849,  the  building  was  unfinished 
and  for  a  time  the  meeting  .lature 

were  held  at  a  private  residence.  There  was  a 
great  deal  of  complaining  and  dissatisfaction. 
The  first  capitol   of  t. 

h  had  been  it 
for  a  hotel.     It  was  destroyed  by  tire  April  29, 


L68 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL  RECORD. 


1853.  The  accommodations  at  San  Jose  were 
so  unsatisfactory  that  the  legislature  decided 
to  locate  the  capital  at  some  other  point.  Prop- 
ositions were  received  from  Monterey,  from 
Reed  of  San  Jose,  from  Stevenson  &  Parker  of 
New  York  of  the  Pacific  and  from  Gen.  M.  G. 
Yallejo.  Vallejo's  proposition  was  accepted. 
He  offered  to  donate  one  hundred  and  fifty-six 
acres  of  land  in  a  new  town  that  he  proposed 
to  lay  out  on  the  straits  of  Carquinez  (now  Yal- 
lejo) for  a  capital  site  and  within  two  years  to 
give  .^370,000  in  money  for  the  erection  of  pub- 
lic buildings.  He  asked  that  his  proposition  be 
submitted  to  a  vote  of  the  people  at  the  next 
general  election.  His  proposition  was  accepted 
by  the  legi:  Iature.  At  the  general  election,  Octo- 
ber 7,  1850,  Yallejo  received  seventy-four  hun- 
dred and  seventy-seven  votes;  San  Jose  twelve 
hundred  and  ninety-two,  and  Monterey  three 
hundred  and  ninety-nine.  The  second  legisla- 
ture convened  at  San  Jose.  General  Yallejo  ex- 
erted himself  to  have  the  change  made  in  accord- 
ance with  the  previous  proposition.  The  cit- 
izens of  San  Jose  made  an  effort  to  retain  the 
capital,  but  a  bill  was  passed  making  Vallejo 
the  permanent  seat  of  government  after  the 
close  of  the  session,  provided  General  Yallejo 
should  give  bonds  to  carry  out  his  proposals. 
In  June  Governor  McDougal  caused  the  gov- 
ernmental archives  to  be  removed  from  San 
Jose  to  Vallejo. 

When  the  members  of  the  third  legislature 
met  at  the  new  capital  January  2,  1852,  they 
found  a  large  unfurnished  and  partly  unfinished 
wooden  building  for  their  reception.  Hotel  ac- 
commodations could  not  be  obtained  and  there 
was  even  a  scarcity  of  food  to  feed  the  hungry 
lawmakers.  Sacramento  offered  its  new  court 
•  house  and  on  the  16th  of  January  the  legislature 
convened   in  that   city.      The    great    flood   of 


March,  1852,  inundated  the  city  and  the  law- 
makers were  forced  to  reach  the  halls  of  legis- 
lation in  boats  and  again  there  was  dissatisfac- 
tion. Then  Benicia  came  to  the  front  with  an 
offer  of  her  new  city  hall,  which  was  above 
high  water  mark.  General  Vallejo  had  become 
financially  embarrassed  and  could  not  carry  out 
his  contract  with  the  state,  so  it  was  annulled. 
The  offer  of  Benicia  was  accepted  and  on  May 
18,  1853,  that  town  was  declared  the  permanent 
capital. 

In  the  legislature  of  1854  the  capital  question 
again  became  an  issue.  Offers  were  made  by 
several  aspiring  cities,  but  Sacramento  won  with 
the  proffer  of  her  court  house  and  a  block  of 
land  betwen  I  and  J,  Ninth  and  Tenth  streets. 
Then  the  question  of  the  location  of  the  capital 
got  into  the  courts.  The  supreme  court  de- 
cided in  favor  of  Sacramento.  Before  the  legis- 
lature met  again  the  court  house  that  had  been 
offered  to  the  state  burned  down.  A  new  and 
more  commodious  one  was  erected  and  rented 
to  the  state  at  $12,000  a  year.  Oakland  made 
an  unsuccessful  effort  to  obtain  the  capital, 
finally  a  bill  was  passed  authorizing  the  erection 
of  a  capitol  building  in  Sacramento  at  a  cost 
not  to  exceed  $500,000.  Work  was  begun  on 
the  foundation  in  October,  i860.  The  great 
flood  of  1861-62  inundated  the  city  and  ruined 
the  foundations  of  the  capitol.  San  Francisco 
made  a  vigorous  effort  to  get  the  capital  re- 
moved to  that  city,  but  was  unsuccessful.  Work 
was  resumed  on  the  building,  the  plans  were 
changed,  the  edifice  enlarged,  and,  finally,  after 
many  delays,  it  was  ready  for  occupancy  in  De- 
cember, 1869.  From  the  original  limit  of  half  a 
million  dollars  its  cost  when  completed  had 
reached  a  million  and  a  half.  The  amount  ex- 
pended on  the  building  and  grounds  to  date 
foots  up  $2,600,000. 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL  RECORD. 


CHAPTER  XXV. 


THE    ARGONAUTS. 


WHEN  or  by  whom  the  name  argonaut 
was  first  applied  to  the  early  Cali- 
fornia gold  seekers  I  have  not  been 
able  to  ascertain.  The  earliest  allusion  to  the 
similarity  of  Jason's  voyage  after  the  Golden 
Fleece  and  the  miners'  rush  to  the  gold  fields  of 
California  is  found  in  a  caricature  published  in 
the  London  Punch  in  1849.  On  tne  shore  of 
an  island  is  a  guide  board  bearing  the  inscrip- 
tion "California;"  near  it  is  a  miner  digging  gold 
and  presumably  singing  at  his  work.  In  a 
boat  near  the  shore  is  a  fat  individual,  a  typical 
"Johnny  Bull."  He  is  struggling  desperately 
with  two  individuals  who  are  holding  him  back 
from  leaping  into  the  water,  so  fascinated  is  he 
by  the  song  of  the  miner.  Under  the  drawing 
are  the  words,  "The  Song  of  the  Sirens." 

If  we  include  among  the  argonauts  all  who 
traveled  by  land  or  voyaged  by  sea  in  search  of 
the  golden  fleece  in  the  days  of  '49  we  will  have 
a  motley  mixture.  The  tales  of  the  fabulous  rich- 
ness of  the  gold  fields  of  California  spread  rap- 
idly throughout  the  civilized  world  and  drew  to 
the  territory  all  classes  and  conditions  of  men, 
the  bad  as  well  as  the  good,  the  indolent  as  well 
as  the  industrious,  the  vicious  as  well  as  the 
virtuous.  They  came  from  Europe,  from  South 
America  and  from  Mexico.  From  Australia 
and  Tasmania  came  the  ex-convict  and  the 
ticket-of-leave  man;  from  the  isles  of  the  sea 
came  the  Polynesian,  and  from  Asia  the  Hindoo 
and  the  "Heathen  Chinee." 

The  means  of  reaching  the  land  of  gold  were 
as  varied  as  the  character  of  the  people  who 
came.  Almost  every  form  of  vehicle  was  pressed 
into  service  on  land.  One  individual,  if  not  more, 
made  the  trip  trundling  his  impedimenta  in  a 
wheelbarrow.  Others  started  out  in  carriages. 
intent  on  making  the  journey  in  comfort  and 
ease,  but  finished  on  foot,  weary,  worn  and 
ragged.  When  the  great  rush  came  old  sailing- 
vessels  that  had  long  been  deemed  unseaworthy 


were  fitted  out  for  the  voyage  to  California.  It 
must  have  been  the  providence  that  protects 
fools  which  prevented  these  from  going  to  the 
bottom  of  the  ocean.  With  the  desperate 
chances  that  the  argonauts  took  on  these  old 
tubs,  it  is  singular  that  there  were  so  few  ship- 
wrecks and  so  little  loss  of  life.  Some  of  these 
were  such  slow  sailers  that  it  took  them  the 
greater  part  of  a  year  to  round  Cape  Horn  and 
reach  their  destination.  On  one  of  these  some 
passengers,  exasperated  at  its  slowness,  landed 
near  Cape  St.  Lucas  and  made  the  long  journey 
up  the  peninsula  of  Lower  California  and  on  to 
San  Francisco  on  foot,  arriving  there  a  month 
before  their  vessel.  Another  party  undertook  to 
make  the  voyage  from  Nicaragua  in  a  wdiale 
boat  and  actually  did  accomplish  seven  hundred 
miles  of  it  before  they  were  picked  up  in  the  last 
extremities  by  a  sailing  vessel. 

The  Sierra  Nevada  region,  in  which  gold  was 
first  found,  comprised  a  strip  about  thirty  miles 
wide  and  two  hundred  miles  long  from  north 
to  south  in  the  basins  of  the  Feather,  Yuba, 
Bear,  American,  Cosumne,  Mokolumne,  Stanis- 
laus, Tuolumne  and  Merced  rivers,  between  the 
elevations  of  one  thousand  and  five  thousand 
feet.  In  all  these  streams  miners  washed  gold 
in  1848.  The  placer  mines  on  the  Upper  Sacra- 
mento and  in  the  Shasta  region  were  discovered 
and  worked  late  in  the  fall  of  1848.  The  Kla- 
math mines  were  discovered  later. 

The  southern  mines, those  on  the  San  Joaquin, 
Fresno,  Kern  and  San  Gabriel  rivers,  were  lo- 
cated between  1851  and  1855.  Gold  was  found 
in  some  of  the  ravines  and  creeks  of  San  Diego 
county.  Practically  the  gold  belt  of  California 
extends  from  the  .Mexican  line  to  Oregon,  but 
at  some  points  it  is  rather  thin.  The  first  gold 
digging  was  done  with  butcher  knives,  the  gold 
hunter  scratching  in  the  sand  and  crevices  of 
the  rock  to  find  nuggets.  Next  the  gold  pan 
came  into  use  and  the  miners  became  experts 


170 


HISTORICAL   AND   BIOGRAPHICAL  RECORD. 


in  twirling  the  pan  in  a  pool  of  water,  so  as  to 
wash  out  the  sand  and  gravel  and  leave  the  gold 
dust  in  the  pan.  Isaac  Humphreys,  who  had 
mined  gold  in  Georgia,  was  the  first  person  to 
use  a  rocker  or  gold  cradle  in  California.  Al- 
though a  very  simple  piece  of  machinery  those 
who  reached  the  mines  early  found  it  quite  an 
expensive  one.  Dr.  Brooks  in  his  diary,  under 
date  of  June  u,  1848,  writes:  "On  Tuesday  we 
set  to  work  upon  our  cradle.  We  resolved  upon 
the  construction  of  two  and  for  this  purpose 
went  down  to  the  store  in  a  body  to  see  about 
the  boards.  We  found  timber  extravagantly 
dear,  being  asked  $40  a  hundred  feet.  The  next 
question  was  as  to  whether  we  should  hire  a 
carpenter.  We  were  told  there  was  one  or  two 
in  the  diggings,  wljo  might  be  hired,  though 
at  a  very  extravagant  rate.  Accordingly  Brad- 
ley and  I  proceeded  to  see  one  of  these  gentle- 
men, and  found  him  washing  away  with  a  hollow 
log  and  a  willow  branch  sieve.  He  offered  to 
help  us  at  the  rate  of  $35  a  day,  we  finding  pro- 
visions and  tools,  and  could  not  be  brought  to 
charge  less.  We  thought  this  by  far  too  ex- 
travagant and  left  him,  determined  to  undertake 
the  work  ourselves.  After  two  days'  work  of 
seven  men  they  produced  two  rough  cradles 
and  found  that  three  men  with  a  cradle  or  rocker 
could  wash  out  as  much  gold  in  a  day  as  six 
could  with  pans  in  the  same  time." 

A  rocker  or  gold  cradle  had  some  resemblance 
to  a  child's  cradle  with  similar  rockers  and  was 
rocked  by  means  of  a  perpendicular  handle 
fastened  to  the  cradle  box.  The  cradle  box  con- 
sisted of  a  wooden  trough  about  twenty  inches 
.vide  and  forty  inches  long  with  sides  four  or 
five  inches  high.  The  lower  end  was  left  open. 
On  the  upper  end  sat  the  hopper,  a  box  twenty 
inches  square  with  sides  four  inches  high  and 
a  bottom  of  sheet  iron  or  zinc  pierced  with  holes 
one-half  inch  in  diameter.  Where  zinc  or  iron 
could  not  be  obtained  a  sieve  of  willow  rods 
was  used.  Under  the  hopper  was  an  apron  of 
canvas,  which  sloped  down  from  the  lower  end 
of  the  hopper  to  the  upper  end  of  the  cradle 
box.  A  wooden  riffle  bar  an  inch  square  was 
nailed  across  the  bottom  of  the  cradle  box  about 
its  middle,  and  another  al  its  lower  end.  Under 
the  cradle  box   were   nailed   rockers,   and   near 


the  middle  an  upright  handle  by  which  motion 
was  imparted.  If  water  and  pay  dirt  were  con- 
venient two  men  were  sufficient  to  operate  the 
machine.  Seated  on  a  stooi  or  rock  the  operator 
rocked  with  one  hand,  while  with  a  long  handled 
dipper  he  dipped  water  from  a  pool  and  poured 
it  on  the  sand  and  gravel  in  the  hopper.  When 
the  sand  and  earth  had  been  washed  through 
the  holes  in  the  sieve  the  rocks  were  emptied 
and  the  hopper  filled  again  from  the  buckets  of 
pay  dirt  supplied  by  the  other  partner.  The  gold 
was  caught  on  the  canvas  apron  by  the  riffle 
bars,  while  the  thin  mud  and  sand  were  washed 
out  of  the  machine  by  the  water. 

In  the  dry  diggings  a  method  of  separating 
the  gold  from  the  earth  was  resorted  to  prin- 
cipally by  Sonorans.  The  pay  dirt  was  dug  and 
dried  in  the  sun,  then  pulverized  by  pounding 
into  fine  dust.  With  a  batea  or  bowl-shaped 
Indian  basket  filled  with  this  dust,  held  in  both 
hands,  the  Mexican  skillfully  tossed  the  earth 
in  the  air,  allowing  the  wind  to  blow  away  the 
dust  and  catching  the  heavier  particles  and  the 
gold  in  the  basket,  repeating  the  process  until 
there  was  little  left  but  the  gold. 

The  Long  Tom  was  a  single  sluice  with  a 
sieve  and  a  box  underneath  at  the  end  and  rif- 
fle  bars  to  stop  the  gold.  The  pay  dirt  was  shov- 
eled in  at  the  upper  end  and  a  rapid  current  of 
water  washed  away  the  sand  and  earth,  the  gold 
falling  into  the  receptacle  below.  Ground  sluic- 
ing was  resorted  to  where  a  current  of  water 
from  a  ditch  could  be  directed  against  a  bank  of 
earth  or  hill  with  a  sloping  bedrock.  The  stream 
of  water  washing  against  the  upper  side  of  the 
bank  caved  it  down  and  carried  the  loose  earth 
through  a  string  of  sluices,  depositing  the  gold 
in  the  riffle  bars  in  the  bottom  of  the  sluices. 

In  the  creeks  and  gulches  where  there  was 
not  much  fall,  sluice  mining  was  commonly  re- 
sorted to.  A  string  of  sluice  boxes  was  laid, 
each  fitting  into  the  upper  end  of  the  one  below, 
and  in  the  lower  ones  riffle  bars  were  placed 
to  stop  the  gold.  The  sluice  boxes  were  placed 
on  nellies  four  feet  from  the  ground  and  given 
an  incline  of  five  or  six  inches  to  the  rod.  The 
gravel  from  the  bedrock  up  as  far  as  there  was 
am-  pay  dirt  was  shoveled  into  the  upper  boxes 
and  a  rapid  current  of  water  flowing  through  the 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


L7J 


boxes  carried  away  the  gravel  and  rocks,  the 
gold  remaining  in  the  riffles.  Quicksilver  was 
placed  between  the  riffles  to  catch  the  fine  gold. 
The  gold  amalgamated  with  quicksilver  was 
cleaned  out  of  the  boxes  at  the  end  of  the  day's 
work  and  separated  from  the  quicksilver  in  a  re- 
tort. These  were  the  principal  methods  of  mining 
used  by  the  argonauts.  The  machinery  and  ap- 
pliances were  simple  and  inexpensive.  Hy- 
draulic mining  came  in  later,  when  larger  cap- 
ital was  required  and  the  mines  had  fallen  into 
the  hands  of  corporations. 

When  the  news  spread  throughout  the  states 
of  the  wonderful  "finds"  of  gold  in  California, 
the  crudest  ideas  prevailed  in  regard  to  how 
the  precious  metal  was  to  be  extracted  from 
the  earth.  Gold  mining  was  an  almost  un- 
known industry  in  the  United  States.  Only 
in  a  few  obscure  districts  of  North  Caro- 
lina and  Georgia  had  gold  been  found,  and 
but  very  few  people  outside  of  these  dis- 
tricts had  ever  visited  the  mines.  Not  one  in 
ten  thousand  of  those  who  joined  the  rush 
to  California  in  1849  nad  ever  seen  a  grain  of 
virgin  gold.  The  idea  prevailed  among  the  gold 
seekers  that  the  gold  being  found  in  grains  it 
could  be  winnowed  from  the  sand  and  earth  in 
which  it  was  found  like  wheat  is  separated  from 
chaff.  Imbued  with  this  idea  Yankee  ingenuity 
set  to  work  to  invent  labor-saving  machines 
that  would  accomplish  the  work  quickly  and 
enrich  the  miner  proportionally.  The  ships  that 
bore  the  argonauts  from  their  native  land  car- 
ried out  a  variety  of  these  gold  machines,  all 
guaranteed  to  wrest  from  the  most  secret  re- 
cesses the  auriferous  deposits  in  nature's 
treasure  vaults.  These  machines  were  of  all 
varieties  and  patterns.  They  were  made  of  cop- 
per, iron,  zinc  and  brass.  Some  were  operated 
by  means  of  a  crank,  others  had  two  cranks, 
while  others  were  worked  with  a  treadle.  Some 
required  that  the  operator  should  stand,  others 
allowed  the  miner  to  sit  in  an  arm  chair  and 
work  in  comfort. 

Haskins,  in  his  "Argonauts  of  California," 
describes  one  of  these  machines  that  was 
brought  around  the  Horn  in  the  ship  he  came 
on:  "It  was  in  the  shape  of  a  huge  fanning 
mill,  with  sieves  properly  arranged  for  sorting 


the  gold  ready  for  bottling.  All  chunks  too 
large  for  the  bottle  would  be  consigned  to  the 
pork  barrel."  (The  question  of  bringing  home 
the  gold  in  bottles  or  barrels  had  been  seriously 
discussed  and  decided  in  favor  of  barrels  be- 
cause these  could  be  rolled  and  thus  save  cost 
of  transportation  from  the  mines. J 

"This  immense  machine  which,  during  our 
passage,  excited  the  envy  and  jealousy  of  all 
who  had  not  the  means  and  opportunity  of  se- 
curing a  similar  one  required,  of  course,  the 
services  of  a  hired  man  to  turn  the  crank,  whilst 
the  proprietor  would  be  busily  engaged  in  shov- 
eling in  pay  dirt  and  pumping  water;  the  greater 
portion  of  the  time,  however,  being  required, 
as  was  firmly  believed,  in  corking  the  bottles 
and  fitting  the  heads  in  the  barrels.  This  ma- 
chine was  owned  by  a  Mr.  Allen  of  Cambridge, 
Mass.,  who  had  brought  with  him  a  colored 
servant  to  manage  and  control  the  crank  por- 
tion of  the   invaluable   institution. 

"Upon  landing  we  found  lying  on  the  sand 
and  half  buried  in  the  mud  hundreds  of  similar 
machines,  bearing  silent  witness  at  once  to  the 
value  of  our  gold  saving  machines  without  the 
necessity  of  a  trial." 

Nor  was  it  the  argonaut  alone  who  came  by 
sea  that  brought  these  machines.  Some  of 
these  wonderful  inventions  were  hauled  across 
the  plains  in  wagons,  their  owners  often  sacri- 
ficing the  necessities  of  life  to  save  the  prized 
machine.  And,  when,  after  infinite  toil  and  trou- 
ble, they  had  landed  their  prize  in  the  mines, 
they  were  chagrined  to  find  it  the  subject  of  jest 
and  ridicule  by  those  who  had  some  experience 
in  mining. 

The  gold  rush  came  early  in  the  history  of 
California  placer  mining.  The  story  of  a  rich 
strike  would  often  depopulate  a  mining  camp  in 
a  few  hours.  Even  a  bare  rumor  of  rich  dig- 
gings in  some  indefinite  localit)  would  send 
scores  of  miners  tramping  off  on  a  wild  goose 
chase  into  the  mountains.  Some  of  these 
rushes  originated  through  fake  stories  circu- 
lated for  sinister  purpose;  others  were  caused 
by  exaggerated  stories  of  real  d 

One  of  the  most  famous  fakes  of  early  days 
was  the  Gold  Lake  rush  of  1S50.  This  wonder- 
ful lake  was  suppos<  d  ted  about  two 


172 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


hundred  miles  northeast  of  Marysville,  on  the 
divide  between  the  Feather  and  the  Yuba  rivers. 
The  Sacramento  Transcript  of  June  kj,  1850, 
says:  "We  are  informed  by  a  gentleman  from 
Marysville  that  it  is  currently  reported  there  that 
the  Indians  upon  this  lake  use  gold  for  their 
commonest  purposes;  that  they  have  a  ready 
way  of  knocking  out  square  blocks,  which  they 
use  for  seats  and  couches  upon  which  to  place 
their  beds,  which  are  simply  bundles  of  wild 
oats,  which  grow  so  profusely  in  all  sections  of 
the  state.  According  to  report  also  they  use  for 
fishhooks  crooked  pieces  of  gold  and  kill  their 
game  with  arrows  made  of  the  same  material. 
They  are  reported  to  be  thunderstruck  at  the 
movements  of  the  whites  and  their  eagerness 
to  collect  and  hoard  the  materials  of  the  very 
ground  upon  which  they  tread. 

"A  story  is  current  that  a  man  at  Gold  Lake 
saw  a  large  piece  of  gold  floating  on  the  lake 
which  he  succeeded  in  getting  ashore.  So 
clear  are  the  waters  that  another  man  saw  a 
rock  of  gold  on  the  bottom.  After  many  ef- 
forts he  succeeded  in  lassoing  the  rock.  Three 
days  afterward  he  was  seen  standing  holding  on 
to  his  rope." 

The  Placer  Times  of  Marysville  reports  that 
the  specimens  brought  into  Marysville  are  of  a 
value  from  $1,500  down.  Ten  ounces  is  re- 
ported as  no  unusual  yield  to  the  pan.  The 
first  party  of  sixty  which  started  out  under 
guidance  of  one  who  had  returned  successful 
were  assured  that  they  would  not  get  less  than 
$500  each  per  day.  We  were  told  that  two  hun- 
dred had  left  town  with  a  full  supply  of  pro- 
visions and  four  hundred  mules.  Mules  and 
horses  have  doubled  in  value.  Many  places  of 
business  are  closed.  The  diggings  at  the  lake 
are  probably  the  best  ever  discovered."  The 
Times  of  June  [9  says:  "It  is  reported  that  up 
to  last  Thursday  two  thousand  persons  had 
taken  up  their  journey.  Many  who  were  work- 
ing good  claims  deserted  them  for  the  new  dis- 
covery. Mules  and  horses  were  about  impos- 
sible to  obtain.  Although  the  truth  of  the  re- 
port rests  on  the  authority  of  but  two  or  three 
who  have  returned  from  Gold  Lake,  yet  few 
are  found  who  doubt  the  marvelous  revelations. 
A  party  of  Kanakas  are  said  to  have  wintered 


at  Gold  Lake,  subsisting  chiefly  on  the  flesh  of 
their  animals.  They  are  said  to  have  taken  out 
^75,000  the  first  week.  When  a  conviction  takes 
such  complete  possession  of  a  whole  com- 
munity, who  are  fully  conversant  with  all  the 
exaggerations  that  have  had  their  day,  it  is 
scarcely  prudent  to  utter  even  a  qualified  dissent 
from  what  is  universally  believed." 

The  denouement  of  the  Gold  Lake  romance 
may  he  found  in  the  Transcript  of  July  I,  1850. 
"The  Gold  Lake  excitement,  so  much  talked  of 
and  acted  upon  of  late,  has  almost  subsided. 
A  crazy  man  comes  in  for  a  share  of  the  re- 
sponsibility. Another  report  is  that  they  have 
found  one  of  the  pretended  discoverers  at 
Marysville  ami  are  about  to  lynch  him.  In- 
deed, we  are  told  that  a  demonstration  against 
the  town  is  feared  by  many.  People  who  have 
returned  after  traveling  some  one  hundred  and 
fifty  to  two  hundred  miles  say  that  they  left  vast 
numbers  of  people  roaming  between  the  sources 
of  the  Yuba  and  the  Feather  rivers." 

Scarcely  had  the  deluded  argonauts  returned 
from  a  bootless  search  for  the  lake  of  gold  when 
another  rumored  discovery  of  gold  fields  of 
fabulous  richness  sent  them  rushing  off  toward 
the  sea  coast.  Now  it  was  Gold  Bluff  that  lured 
I  hem  away.  (  In  the  northwest  coast  of  Califor- 
nia, near  the  mouth  of  the  Klamath  river, 
precipitous  bluffs  four  hundred  feet  high  mark 
the  coast  line  of  the  ocean.  A  party  of  pros- 
pectors in  the  fall  of  1850,  who  had  been  up 
in  the  Del  Norte  country,  were  making  their 
way  down  to  the  little  trading  and  trapping  sta- 
tion of  Trinidad  to  procure  provisions.  On 
reaching  the  bluffs,  thirty  miles  above  Trinidad, 
they  were  astonished  to  find  stretching  out  be- 
fore them  a  beach  glittering  with  golden  sands. 
They  could  not  stop  to  gather  gold;  the)  were 
starving.  So,  scraping  up  a  few  handfuls  of  the 
glittering  sands,  they  hastened  on.  In  due 
time  the>'  reached  San  Francisco,  where  they 
exhibited  their  sand,  which  proved  to  be  nearly 
half  gold.  The  report  of  the  wonderful  find  was 
spread  by  the  newspapers  and  the  excitement 
began.  Companies  were  formed  and  claims  lo- 
cated  at  long  range.  One  company  of  nine 
locator-  -nil  an  expert  to  examine  their  claims, 
lie,  by   a   careful   mathematical   calculation,  as- 


HISTORICAL   AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


173 


certained  that  the  claim  would  yield  forty-three 
million  dollars  to  each  partner.  As  there  were 
fifteen  miles  of  gold  beach,  the  amount  of  gold 
in  the  sands  was  sufficient  to  demonetize  the 
precious  metal.  A  laudable  desire  to  benefit 
the  human  race  possessed  some  of  the  claim 
owners.  They  formed  joint  stock  companies  with 
shares  at  $100  each.  Gold  Bluff  mining  stock 
went  off  like  the  proverbial  hot  cakes  and  pros- 
pectors went  off  as  rapidly.  Within  two  days 
after  the  expert's  wonderful  story  was  spread 
abroad  nine  ships  were  fitted  out  for  Gold  Bluff. 
The  first  to  arrive  off  the  Bluff  was  the  vessel 
containing  a  party  of  the  original  discoverers. 
In  attempting  to  land  in  a  boat,  the  boat  was 
upset  in  the  breakers  and  five  of  the  six  occu- 
pants were  drowned,  Bertram,  the  leader  of  the 
party  making  the  discovery,  alone  escaping. 
The  vessel  put  back  to  Trinidad  and  the  gold 
hunters  made  their  way  up  the  coast  to  the 
Bluff.  But  alas  for  their  golden  dreams! 
Where  they  had  hoped  to  gather  gold  by  the 
ship  load  no  gold  was  found.  Old  ocean  had 
gathered  it  back  into  his  treasure  vaults. 

The  bubble  burst  as  suddenly  as  it  had  ex- 
panded. And  yet  there  was  gold  at  Gold  Bluff 
and  there  is  gold  there  yet.  If  the  ocean  could 
be  drained  or  coffer  dammed  for  two  hundred 
miles  along  the  gold  coast  of  northern  Califor- 
nia and  Oregon,  all  the  wealth  of  Alaska  would 
be  but  the  panning  out  of  a  prospect  hole  com- 
pared to  the  richness  that  lies  hidden  in  the 
sands  of  Gold  Beach.  For  years  after  the 
bursting  of  the  Gold  Bluff  bubble,  when  the 
tide  was  low,  the  sands  along  Gold  Beach  were 
mined  with  profit. 

The  Kern  river  excitement  in  the  spring  of 
1855  surpassed  everything  that  had  preceded  il. 
Seven  years  of  mining  had  skimmed  the  rich- 
ness of  the  placers.  The  northern  and  central 
gold  fields  of  California  had  been  thoroughly 
prospected.  The  miners  who  had  been  accus- 
tomed to  the  rich  strikes  of  early  years  could 
not  content  themselves  with  moderate  returns. 
They  were  on  the  qui  vive  for  a  rich  strike  and 
ready  for  a  rush  upon  the  first  reporl  of  one. 
The  first  discoveries  on  the  Kern  river  were 
made  in  the  summer  of  1854,  but  no  ex<  it< 
followed  immediately.     During  the  fall  and  win- 


ter rumors  were  set  afloat  of  rich  strikes  on  the 
head  waters  of  that  stream.  The  stories  grew 
as  they  traveled.  One  that  had  a  wide  circula- 
tion and  was  readily  accepted  ran  about  as  fol- 
lows: "A  .Mexican  doctor  had  appeared  in  Mari- 
posa loaded  down  with  gold  nuggets.  He  re- 
ported that  he  and  four  companions  had  found 
a  region  paved  with  gold.  The  very  hills  were 
yellow  with  outcroppings.  While  gloating  over 
their  wealth  and  loading  it  into  sacks  the  In- 
dians attacked  them  and  killed  his  four  com- 
panions. He  escaped  with  one  sack  of  gold.  lie- 
proposed  to  organize  a  company  large  enough 
to  exterminate  the  Indians  and  then  bring  out 
the  gold  on  pack  mules.*'  This  as  well  as  other 
stories  as  improbable  were  spread  broadcast 
throughout  the  state.  Many  of  the  reports  of 
wonderful  strikes  were  purposely  magnified  by 
merchants  and  dealers  in  mining  supplies  who 
were  overstocked  with  unsalable  goods:  and 
by  transportation  companies  with  whom  busi- 
ness was  slack.  Their  purpose  was  accom- 
plished and  the  rush  was  on.  It  began  in  Jan- 
uary, r  S55.  Every  steamer  down  the  coast  to 
Los  Angeles  was  loaded  to  the  guards  with 
adventurers  for  the  mines.  The  sleepy  old 
metropolis  of  the  cow  counties  waked  up  to 
find  itself  suddenly  transformed  into  a  bustling 
mining  camp.  The  Southern  CaUfornian  of  Feb- 
ruary 8,  1855,  thus  describes  the  situation:  "The 
road  from  our  valley  is  literally  thronged  with 
people  on  their  way  to  the  mines.  Hundreds 
of  people  have  been  leaving  not  only  the  city, 
but  every  portion  of  the  count\.  Every  descrip- 
tion of  vehicle  and  animal  has  been  brought 
into  requisition  to  take  the  exultant  seekers 
after  wealth  to  the  goal  of  their  hopes.  Im- 
mense ten-mule  wagons  strung  out  one  after 
another;  long  trains  of  pack  mules  and  men 
mounted  and  on  foot,  with  picks  and  sho 
boarding-house  keepers  with  their  tents:  mer- 
chants with  their  stocks  of  miners'  necessaries 
and  gamblers  with  their  'papers'  are  constantly 
leaving  for  the  Kern  river  mines.     The  > 

1,  iries  are  afloat.     If  the   mine-  turn   1  >u1   $10 
a  day  to  the  man  everybody  ough 
ft,  ,1.      'I  he   opei  mines   has    b< 

( ,,  ids(  ml  to  all  of  us,  as  the  business  of  the  en- 
tire countr)    was  on   the  poinl   of  taking  to  a 


174 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


'ice.  The  great  scarcity  of  money  is  seen  in 
the  present  exorbitant  rates  of  interest  which  it 
commands:  8,  10  and  even  15  per  cent  a  month 
is  freely  paid  and  the  supply  even  at  these  rates 
is  too  meager  to  meet  the  demands."  As  the 
rush  increased  our  editor  grows  more  jubilant. 
In  his  issue  of  March  7,  he  throws  out  these 
headlines:  "Stop  the  Press!  Glorious  Xews 
from  Kern  River!  Bring  Out  the  Big  Gun! 
There  are  a  thousand  gulches  rich  with  gold 
and  room  for  ten  thousand  miners.  Miners 
averaged  $50  a  day.  One  man  with  his  own 
hands  took  out  $160  in  a  day.  Five  men  in  ten 
days  took  out  $4,500." 

Another  stream  of  miners  and  adventurers 
was  pouring  into  the  mines  by  way  of  the  San 
Joaquin  valley.  From  Stockton  to  the  Kern 
river,  a  distance  of  three  hundred  miles,  the 
road  was  crowded  with  men  on  foot,  on  stages, 
on  horseback  and  on  every  form  of  convey- 
ance that  would  take  them  to  the  new  El  Do- 
rado. In  four  months  five  or  six  thousand  men 
had  found  their  way  into  the  Kern  river  basin. 
There  was  gold  there,  but  not  enough  to  go 
around.  A  few  struck  it  rich,  the  many  struck 
nothing  but  "hard  luck"  and  the  rush  out  began. 
Those  who  had  ridden  into  the  valley  footed  it 
out,  and  those  who  had  footed  it  in  on  sole 
leather  footed  it  nut  on  their  natural  soles. 

After  the  wild  frenzy  of  Kern  river,  the  press 
of  the  state  congratulated  the  public  with  the 
assurance  that  the  era  of  wild  rushes  was  past — 
"what  had  been  lost  in  money  had  been  gained 
in  experience."  As  if  prospectors  ever  profited 
by  experience!  Scarcely  had  the  victims  of  Kern 
river  resumed  work  in  the  old  creeks  and  canons 
they  had  deserted  to  join  in  the  rush  when  a 
rumor  came,  faint  at  first,  but  gathering 
strength  at  each  repetition,  that  rich  diggings 
had  been  struck  in  the  far  north.  This  time 
it  is  Frazer  river.  True.  Frazer  river  is  in  the 
British  possessions,  hut  what  of  that?  There 
are  enough  miners  in  California  to  seize  the 
country  and  hold  it  until  the  cream  of  the  mines 
has  been  skimmed.  Rumors  of  the  richness 
of  mines  increased  with  every  arrival  of  a 
steamer  from  the  north.  Captains,  pursers. 
mates,  cooks  and  waiters  all  confirmed  the  sto- 
ries of  rich  strikes.     Doubters  asserted  that  the 


dust  and  nuggets  exhibited  had  made  the  trip 
from  San  Francisco  to  Victoria  and  back.  But 
the}-  were  silenced  by  the  assurance  that  the 
transportation  company  was  preparing  to  double 
the  number  of  its  vessels  on  that  route.  Com- 
modore Wright  was  too  smart  to  run  his  steam- 
ers on  fake  reports,  and  thus  the  very  thing  that 
should  have  caused  suspicion  was  used  to  con- 
firm the  truth  of  the  rumors.  The  doubters 
doubted  no  more,  but  packed  their  outfits  for 
Frazer  river.  California  was  played  out.  Where 
could  an  honest  miner  pan  out  $100  a  day 
in  California  now?  He  could  do  it  every  day 
in  Frazer;  the  papers  said  so.  The  first  notice 
of  the  mines  was  published  in  March,  1858.  The 
rush  began  the  latter  part  of  April  and  in  four 
months  thirty  thousand  men,  one-sixth  of  the 
voting  population  of  the  state,  had  rushed  to 
the   mines. 

The  effect  of  the  craze  was  disastrous  to  busi- 
ness in  California.  Farms  were  abandoned  and 
crops  lost  for  want  of  hands  to  harvest  them. 
Rich  claims  in  old  diggings  were  sold  for  a  trifle 
of  their  value.  Lots  on  Montgomery  street  that 
a  few  years  later  were  worth  $1,500  a  front  foot 
were  sold  for  $100.  Real  estate  in  the  interior 
towns  was  sacrificed  at  50  to  yz,  per  cent  less 
than  it  was  worth  before  the  rush  began.  But 
a  halt  was  called  in  the  mad  rush.  The  returns 
were  not  coming  in  satisfactorily.  By  the  mid- 
dle of  July  less  than  $100,000  in  dust  had 
reached  San  Francisco,  only  about  $3  for  each 
man  who  had  gone  to  the  diggings.  There  was 
gold  there  and  plenty  of  it,  so  those  interested 
in  keeping  up  the  excitement  said:  "The  Frazer 
river  is  high;  wait  till  it  subsides."  But  it  did 
not  subside,  and  it  has  not  subsided  since.  If 
the  Frazer  did  not  subside  the  excitement  did, 
and  that  suddenly.  Those  who  had  money 
enough  or  could  borrow  from  their  friends  got 
away  at  once.  Those  who  had  none  hung 
around  Victoria  and  New  Westminster  until 
the)  were  shipped  back  at  the  government's  ex- 
pense. The  Frazer  river  craze  was  the  last  of  the 
mad.  unreasoning  "gold  rushes."  The  Washoe 
excitement  of  '59  and  the  "Ho!  for  Idaho  of 
1863  64"  had  some  of  the  characteristics  of  the 
early  gold  rushes,  but  they  soon  settled  down  to 
tead\    business  and  the  yield  from  these  fairly 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL  RECORD. 


175 


recompensed  those  who  were  frugal  and  indus- 
trious. 

Never  before  perhaps  among  civilized  people 
was  there  witnessed  such  a  universal  leveling 
as  occurred  in  the  first  years  of  the  mining  ex- 
citement in  California.  "As  the  labor  required 
was  physical  instead  of  mental,  the  usual  supe- 
riority of  head  workers  over  hand  workers  dis- 
appeared entirely.  Men  who  had  been  gov- 
ernors and  legislators  and  judges  in  the  old 
states  worked  by  the  side  of  outlaws  and  con- 
victs; scholars  and  students  by  the  side  of  men 
who  could  not  read  or  write;  those  who  had 
been  masters  by  the  side  of  those  who  had  been 
slaves;  old  social  distinctions  were  obliterated; 
everybody  did  business  on  his  own  account,  and 
not  one  man  in  ten  was  the  employe  and  much 
less  the  servant  of  another.  Social  distinctions 
appeared  to  be  entirely  obliterated  and  no  man 
was  considered  inferior  to  another.  The  hard- 
fisted,  unshaven  and  patch-covered  miner  was 
on  terms  of  perfect  equality  with  the  well- 
dressed  lawyer,  surgeon  or  merchant;  and  in 
general  conferences,  discussions  and  even  con- 


versations the  most  weather-beaten  and  strongly 
marked  face,  or,  in  other  words,  the  man  who 
had  seen  and  experienced  the  most,  notwith- 
standing his  wild  and  tattered  attire,  was  lis- 
tened to  with  more  attention  and  respectful  con- 
sideration than  the  man  of  polished  speech  and 
striking  antithesis.  One  reason  of  this  was  that  in 
those  days  the  roughest-looking  man  not  infre- 
quently knew  more  than  anybody  else  of  what 
was  wanted  to  be  known,  and  the  raggedest  man 
not  infrequently  was  the  most  influential  and 
sometimes  the  richest  man  in  the  locality."- 

This  independent  spirit  was  characteristic  of 
the  men  of  '48  and  '49.  Then  nearly  everybody 
was  honest  and  theft  was  almost  unknown. 
With  the  advent  of  the  criminal  element  in 
1850  and  later  there  came  a  change.  Before  that 
a  pan  of  gold  dust  could  be  left  in  an  open  tent 
unguarded,  but  with  the  coming  of  the  Sydney 
ducks  from  Australia  and  men  of  their  class  it 
became  necessary  to  guard  property  with  sedu- 
lous care. 

*  Hindi's   History  of  California.   Vol.   III. 


CHAPTER   XXVI. 


SAN    FRANCISCO. 


IN  1835  Capt.  William  A.  Richardson  built 
the  first  house  on  the  Yerba  Buena  cove. 
It  was  a  shanty  of  rough  board,  which  he 
replaced  a  year  later  with  an  adobe  building. 
He  was  granted  a  lot  in  1836  and  his  building 
stood  near  what  is  now  the  corner  of  Dupont 
and  Clay  streets.  Richardson  had  settled  at 
Sausalito  in  1822.  He  was  an  Englishman  by 
birth  and  was  one  of  the  first  foreigners  to  settle 
in  California. 

Jacob  P.  Leese,  an  American,  in  partnership 
with  Spear  &  Hinckley,  obtained  a  lot  in  1836 
and  built  a  house  and  store  near  that  of  Captain 
Richardson.  There  is  a  tradition  that  Mr.  Leese 
began  his  store  building  on  the  first  of  July  and 
finished  it  at  ten  o'clock  on  the  morning  of 
July  4,  and  for  a  house  warming  celebrated  the 
glorious  Fourth  in  a  style  that  astonished  the 
natives  up  and  down  the  coast.  The  house  was 
sixty   feet   long  and   twenty-five   broad,  and,   if 


completed  in  three  days,  Mr.  Leese  certainly  de 
serves  the  credit  of  having  eclipsed  some  of 
the  remarkable  feats  in  house  building  that  were 
performed  after  the  great  fires  of  San  Francisco 
in  the  early  '50s.  Mr.  Leese  and  his  neighbor, 
Captain  Richardson,  invited  all  the  high-toned 
Spanish  families  for  a  hundred  miles  around  to 
the  celebration.  The  Mexican  and  American 
flags  floated  over  the  building  and  two  six- 
pounders  fired  salutes.  At  five  o'clock  the 
guests  sat  down  to  a  sumptuous  dinner  which 
lasted,  toasts  and  all,  till  10  o'clock,  and  then 
came  dancing;  and,  as  Mr.  Leese  remarks  in  his 
diary;  "Our  Fourth  ended  on  the  evening  of 
the  fifth."  Mr.  I.eese  was  an  energetic  person. 
I  le  built  a  house  in  three  days,  gave  a  Fourth  of 
|uly  celebration  thai  la-ted  two  days,  and  inside 
of  a  week  had  a  -tore  opened  and  was  doing  a 
thriving  business  with  his  late  guests.  He  fell 
in  love  with  the  same  energy  that  he  did  busi- 


176 


HISTORICAL  AXD   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


ness.  Among  the  guests  at  his  4th  of  July 
celebration  were  the  Vallejos,  the  nabobs  of 
Sonoma.  Leese  courted  one  of  the  girls  and  in 
a  few  months  after  the  celebration  married  her. 
Their  daughter,  Rosalie  Leese,  was  the  first 
child  born  in  Yerba  Buena.  Such  was  the  be- 
ginning of  San  Francisco. 

This  settlement  was  on  a  crescent-shaped  cove 
that  lay  between  Clark's  Point  and  the  Rincon. 
The  locality  was  known  as  Verba  Buena  (good 
herb),  a  species  of  mint  to  which  the  native  Cal- 
ifornians  attributed  many  medicinal  virtues. 
The  peninsula  still  bore  the  name  that  had  been 
applied  to  it  when  the  mission  and  presidio 
were  founded,  San  Francisco.  Yerba  Buena 
was  a  local  appellation  and  applied  only  to  the 
little  hamlet  that  had  grown  up  on  the  cove. 
This  settlement,  although  under  the  Mexican 
government,  was  not  a  Mexican  town.  The 
foreign  element,  the  American  predominating, 
had  always  been  in  the  ascendency.  At  the  time 
of  the  conquest,  among  its  two  hundred  inhab- 
itants, were  representatives  of  almost  every  civ- 
ilized nation  on  the  globe.  It  was  a  cosmopol- 
itan town.  In  a  very  short  time  after  the  con- 
quest it  began  to  take  on  a  new  growth  and  was 
recognized  as  the  coming  metropolis  of  Califor- 
nia. The  curving  beach  of  the  cove  at  one 
point  (Jackson  street)  crossed  the  present  line 
of  Montgomery  street. 

Richardson  and  Leese  had  built  their  stores 
and  warehouses  back  from  the  beach  because  of 
a  Mexican  law  that  prohibited  the  building  of  a 
house  on  the  beach  where  no  custom  house  ex- 
isted. All  houses  had  to  be  built  back  a  certain 
number  of  varas  from  high-water  mark.  This 
regulation  was  made  to  prevent  smuggling.  Be- 
tween the  shore  line  of  the  cove  and  anchorage 
there  was  a  long  stretch  of  shallow  water.  This 
made  transportation  of  goods  from  ship  to 
shore  very  inconvenient  and  expensive.  With 
the  advent  of  the  Americans  and  the  inaugura- 
tion of  a  more  progressive  era  it  became  neces- 
sary for  the  convenient  landing  of  ships  and  for 
the  discharging  and  receiving  of  their  cargoes 
that  the  beach  front  of  the  town  should  be  im- 
proved bv  building  wharves  and  docks.  The  dif- 
ficulty was  In  find  the  means  to  do  this.  The 
general  government  of  the  United  States  could 


not  undertake  it.  The  war  with  Mexico  was 
still  in  progress.  The  only  available  way  was 
to  sell  off  beach  lots  to  private  parties,  but  who 
was  to  give  title  was  the  question.  Edwin  Bry- 
ant, February  22,  1847,  nad  succeeded  Wash- 
ington Bartlett  as  alcalde.  Bryant  was  a  pro- 
gressive man,  and,  recognizing  the  necessity  of 
improvement  in  the  shipping  facilities  of  the 
town,  he  urged  General  Kearny,  the  acting 
governor,  to  relinquish,  on  the  part  of  the  gen- 
eral government,  its  claim  to  the  beach  lands  in 
front  of  the  town  in  favor  of  the  municipality 
under  certain  conditions.  General  Kearny 
really  had  no  authority  to  relinquish  the  claim 
of  the  general  government  to  the  land,  for  the 
simple  reason  that  the  general  government  had 
not  perfected  a  claim.  The  country  was  held 
as  conquered  territory.  Mexico  had  made  no 
concession  of  the  land  by  treaty.  It  was  not 
certain  that  California  would  be  ceded  to  the 
United  States.  Under  Mexican  law  the  gov- 
ernor of  the  territory,  under  certain  conditions, 
had  the  right  to  make  grants,  and  General  Kear- 
ny, assuming  the  power  given  a  Mexican  gov- 
ernor, issued  the  following  decree:  "I,  Brig.- 
Gen.  S.  W.  Kearny,  Governor  of  California, 
by  virtue  of  authority  in  me  vested  by  the  Pres- 
ident of  the  United  States  of  America,  do  hereby 
grant,  convey,  and  release  unto  the  Town  of  San 
Francisco,  the  people  or  corporate  authorities 
thereof,  all  the  right,  title  and  interest  of  the 
Government  of  the  United  States  and  of  the 
Territory  of  California  in  and  to  the  Beach  and 
Water  Lots  on  the  East  front  of  said  Town  of 
San  Francisco  included  between  the  points 
known  as  the  Rincon  and  Fort  Montgomery, 
excepting  such  lots  as  may  be  selected  for  the 
use  of  the  United  States  Government  by  the 
senior  officers  of  the  army  and  navy  now  there; 
provided,  the  said  ground  hereby  ceded  shall 
be  divided  into  lots  and  sold  by  public  auction  to 
the  highest  bidder,  after  three  months*  notice 
previously  given;  the  proceeds  of  said  sale  to 
be  for  the  benefit  of  the  town  of  San  Francisco. 
Given  at  Monterey,  capital  of  California,  this 
10th  day  of  March,  1847,  and  the  seventy-first 
year  of  the  independence  of  the  United  States." 
S.  W.  Kearny, 
Brig.-Gen'l  &  Gov.  of  California. 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


In  pursuance  of  this  decree,  Alcalde  Bryant 
advertised  in  the  Californian  that  the  ground 
described  in  the  decree,  known  as  Water  Lots, 
would  be  surveyed  and  divided  into  convenient 
building  lots  and  sold  to  the  highest  bidder  on 
the  29th  of  June  (1847).  He  then  proceeds  in 
the  advertisement  to  boom  the  town.  "The  site 
of  the  town  of  San  Francisco  is  known  by  all 
navigators  and  mercantile  men  acquainted  with 
the  subject  to  be  the  most  commanding  com- 
mercial position  on  the  entire  western  coast  of 
the  Pacific  ocean,  and  the  Town  itself  is  no 
doubt  destined  to  become  the  commercial  em- 
porium of  the  western  side  of  the  North  Ameri- 
can continent."  The  alcaldes'  assertions  must 
have  seemed  rather  extravagant  to  the  dwellers 
in  the  little  burgh  on  the  cove  of  Verba  Buena. 
But  Bryant  was  a  far-seeing  man  and  proved 
himself  in  this  instance  to  be  a  prophet. 

It  will  be  noticed  that  both  General  Kearnj 
and  Alcalde  Bryant  call  the  town  San  Francisco. 
Alcalde  Bartlett,  the  predecessor  in  office  of 
Alcalde  Bryant,  had  changed  its  name  just  be- 
fore he  was  recalled  to  his  ship.  He  did  not 
like  the  name  Yerba  Buena,  so  he  summarily 
changed  it.  He  issued  a  proclamation  setting 
forth  that  hereafter  the  town  should  be  known 
as  San  Francisco.  Having  proclaimed  a  change 
of  name,  he  proceeded  to  give  his  reasons: 
Yerba  Buena  was  a  paltry  cognomen  for  a  cer- 
tain kind  of  mint  found  on  an  island  in  the 
bay;  it  was  a  merely  local  name,  unknown  be- 
yond the  district,  while  San  Francisco  had  long 
been  familiar  on  the  maps.  "Therefore  it  is 
hereby  ordained,  etc."  Bartlett  builded  better 
than  he  knew.  It  would  have  been  a  sad  mis- 
take for  the  city  to  have  carried  the  "outlandish 
name  which  Americans  would  mangle  in  pro- 
nouncing," as  the  alcalde  said. 

The  change  was  made  in  the  latter  part  of 
January,  1847,  but  it  was  some  time  before  the 
new  name  was  generally  adopted. 

The  California  Star,  Sam  Brannan's  paper, 
which  had  begun  to  shine  January  9,  1847,  m 
its  issue  of  March  20,  alluding  to  the  change, 
says:  "We  acquiesce  in  it,  though  we  prefer 
the  old  name.  When  the  change  was  first  at- 
tempted we  viewed  it  as  a  mere  assumption  of 
authority,  without  law  of  precedent,  and  there- 


fore we  adhered  to  the  old  name — Yerba 
Buena." 

"It  was  asserted  by  the  late  alcalde,  Washing- 
ton Bartlett,  that  the  place  was  called  San 
Francisco  in  some  old  Spanish  paper  which  he 
professed  to  have  in  his  possession;  but  how 
could  we  believe  a  man  even  about  that  which 
it  is  said  'there  is  nothing  in  it,'  who  had  so 
often  evinced  a  total  disregard  for  his  own  honor 
and  character  and  the  honor  of  the  country 
which  gave  him  birth  and  the  rights  of  his  fel- 
low citizens  in  the  district?"  Evidently  the  edi- 
tor had  a  grievance  and  was  anxious  to  get  even 
with  the  alcalde.  Bartlett  demanded  an  inves- 
tigation of  some  charges  made  against  his  ad- 
ministration. He  was  cleared  of  all  blame.  He 
deserves  the  thanks  of  all  Californians  in  sum- 
marily suppressing  Yerba  Buena  and  preventing 
it  from  being  fastened  on  the  chief  city  of  the 
state. 

There  was  at  that  time  (on  paper)  a  city  of 
Francisca.  The  city  fathers  of  this  budding  me- 
tropolis were  T.  O.  Larkin  and  Robert  Semple. 
In  a  half-column  advertisement  in  the  Califor- 
nian of  April  20,  1847.  and  several  subsequent 
issues,  headed  "Great  Sale  of  City  Lots,"  they  set 
forth  the  many  advantages  and  merits  of 
Francisca.  The  streets  are  eighty  feet  wide,  the 
alleys  twenty  feet  wide,  and  the  lots  fifty  yards 
front  and  forty  yards  back.  The  whole  city 
comprises  five  square  miles." 

"Francisca  is  situated  on  the  Straits  of  Car- 
quinez,  on  the  north  side  of  the  Hay  of  San 
Francisco,  about  thirty  miles  from  the  mouth 
of  the  bay  and  at  the  head  of  ship  navigation. 
In  front  of  the  city  is  a  commodious  bay,  large 
enough  for  two  hundred  ships  to  ride  at  anchor, 
safe    from    any    wind."  "The     entire 

trade  of  the  great  Sacramento  and  San  Joaquin 
valleys,  a  fertile  country  of  great  width  and  near 
seven  hundred  miles  long  from  north  to  south, 
must  of  necessity  pass  through  the  narrow  chan- 
nel of  Carquinez  and  the  bay  and  country  is 
so  situated  that  even-  person  who  passes  from 
one  side  of  the  bay  to  the  other  will  find  the 
nearest  and  best  w.v    '  Francisca, 

with  its  manifold  natural  advantages,  ought  to 
have  been  a  great  city,  the  of  Cali- 

fornia, but   the  Fates  were  ;  \!calde 


Hi 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


Bartlett,  probably  without  any  design  of  doing 
so,  dealt  it  a  fearful  blow  when  he  dubbed  the 
town  of  the  good  herb,  San  Francisco.  Two 
cities  with  names  so  nearly  alike  could  not  live 
and  thrive  in  the  same  state.  Francisca  became 
Benicia.  The  population  of  San  Francisco  (or 
Verba  Buena,  as  it  was  then  called)  at  the  time 
that  Captain  Montgomery  raised  the  stars  and 
stripes  and  took  possession  of  it  probably  did 
not  exceed  two  hundred.  Its  change  of  masters 
accelerated  its  growth.  The  Calif ornian  of  Sep- 
tember 4,  1847  (fourteen  months  after  it  came 
under  the  flag  of  the  United  States),  gives  the 
following  statistics  of  its  population  ami  prog- 
ress: Total  white  male  population,  247;  female, 
123;  Indians,  male,  26;  female,  8;  South  Sea 
Islanders,  male,  39;  female  1;  negroes,  male, 
9;    female  1;    total  population,  454. 

Nearly  every  country  on  the  globe  had  repre- 
sentatives in  its  population,  and  the  various  vo- 
cations by  which  men  earn  a  living  were 
well  represented.  Minister,  one;  doctors,  three; 
lawyers,  three;  surveyors,  two;  agriculturists, 
eleven;  bakers,  seven:  blacksmiths,  six;  brew- 
er, one;  butchers,  seven;  cabinetmakers,  two; 
carpenters,  twenty-six;  cigarmaker,  one;  coop- 
ers, three;  clerks,  thirteen;  gardener,  one; 
grocers,  five;  gunsmiths,  two;  hotel-keepers, 
three;  laborers,  twenty;  masons,  four;  mer- 
chants, eleven;  miner,  one;  morocco  case 
maker,  one;  navigators  (inland),  six;  navigator 
(ocean),  one;  painter,  one;  printer,  one;  sol- 
dier, one;  shoemakers,  four;  silversmith,  one; 
tailors,  four;  tanners,  two;  watchmaker,  one; 
weaver,  one.  Previous  to  April  1,  1847,  accord- 
ing to  the  Californicn,  there  had  been  erected  in 
the  town  seventy-nine  buildings,  classified  as 
follows:  Shanties,  twenty-two;  frame  buildings, 
thirty-one;  adobe  buildings,  twenty-six.  Since 
April  1,  seventy-eight  buildings  have  been 
erected,  viz.:  Shanties,  twenty:  frame  buildings. 
forty-seven;  ad.  .be  buildings,  eleven.  "Within 
five  months  last  past,"  triumphantly  adds  the 
editor  of  the  Calif  ornian,  "as  many  buildings 
have  been  built  as  were  erected  in  all  the  pre- 
vious years  of  the  town's  existence." 

The  town  continued  to  grow  with  wonderful 
rapidity  throughout  the  year  1847,  considering 
that   peace  had  not  yel   been   declared  and  the 


destiny  of  California  was  uncertain.  According 
1"  a  school  census  taken  in  March,  1848.  by 
the  Board  of  Trustees,  the  population  was: 
Males,  five  hundred  and  seventy-five;  females, 
one  hundred  and  seventy-seven;  and  "children 
of  age  to  attend  school,"  sixty,  a  total  of  eight 
hundred  and  twelve.  Building  kept  pace  with 
the  increase  of  population  until  the  "gold  fever" 
became  epidemic.  Dr.  Brooks,  writing  in  his 
diary  May  17,  says:  "Walking  through  the  town 
to-day,  I  observed  that  laborers  were  employed 
only  upon  about  half  a  dozen  of  the  fifty  new 
buildings  which  were  in  the  course  of  being 
run  up." 

The  first  survey  of  lots  in  the  town  had  been 
made  by  a  Frenchman  named  Vioget.  Xo 
names  had  been  given  to  the  streets.  This  sur- 
vey was  made  before  the  conquest.  In  1847, 
Jasper  O'Farrell  surveyed  and  platted  the  dis- 
trict extending  about  half  a  mile  in  the  different 
directions  from  the  plaza.  The  streets  were 
named,  and,  with  a  very  few  changes,  still  retain 
the  names  then  given.  In  September  the  coun- 
cil appointed  a  committee  to  report  upon  the 
building  of  a  wharf.  Jt  was  decided  to  con- 
struct two  wharves,  one  from  the  foot  of  Clay 
street  and  the  other  from  the  foot  of  Broadway. 
Money  was  appropriated  to  build  them  and  they 
had  been  extended  some  distance  seaward  when 
the  rush  to  the  mines  suspended  operations. 
After  considerable  agitation  by  the  two  news- 
papers and  canvassing  for  funds,  the  first  school- 
house  was  built.  It  was  completed  December 
4,  1847,  but,  for  lack  of  funds,  or,  as  the  Star 
says,  for  lack  of  energy  in  the  council,  school 
was  not  opened  on  the  completion  of  the  house. 
In  March  the  council  appropriated  $400  and 
April  1,  1848,  Thomas  Douglas,  a  graduate  of 
Yale  College,  took  charge  of  the  school.  San 
Francisco  was  rapidly  developing  into  a  pro- 
gressive American  city.  Unlike  the  older  towns 
.if  California,  it  had  but  a  small  Mexican  popu- 
lation. Even  had  not  gold  been  discovered,  it 
would  have  grown  into  a  commercial  city  of  con- 
siderable size. 

The  first  effect  of  the  gold  discovery  and  the 
consequenl  rush  to  the  mines  was  to  bring 
everything  to  a  standstill.  As  Kemble,  of  the 
Star,  puts  it.  it   was  "as  if  a  curse  had  arrested 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


our  onward  course  of  enterprise;  everything 
wears  a  desolate  and  sombre  look;  everywhere 
all  is  dull,  monotonous,  dead."  The  return  of 
the  inhabitants  in  a  few  months  and  the  influx 
of  new  arrivals  gave  the  town  a  boom  in  the 
fall  of  1848.  Building  was  only  limited  by  the 
lack  of  material,  and  every  kind  of  a  makeshift 
was  resorted  to  to  provide  shelter  against  win- 
ter rains.  From  the  many  attempts  at  describ- 
ing the  town  at  this  stage  of  its  development,  I 
select  this  from  "Sights  in  the  Gold  Regions,"  a 
book  long  since  out  of  print.  Its  author,  T.  T. 
Johnson,  arrived  at  San  Francisco  April  1,  1849. 
"Proceeding  on  our  survey,  we  found  the 
streets,  or,  properly,  the  roads,  laid  out  reg- 
ularly, those  parallel  with  the  water  being  a 
succession  of  terraces,  and  these  ascending  the 
lulls  or  along  their  sides  being  in  some  instances 
cut  down  ten  or  twelve  feet  below  the  surface. 
Except  a  portion  of  the  streets  fronting  upon 
the  cove,  they  are  all  of  hard-beaten,  sandy  claw 
as  solid  as  if  macadamized.  About  three  hun- 
dred houses,  stores,  shanties  and  sheds,  with  a 
great  many  tents,  composed  the  town  at  that 
period.  The  houses  were  mostly  built  of  rough 
boards  and  unpainted ;  brown  cottons  or  calico 
nailed  against  the  beams  and  joists  answered  for 
wall  and  ceiling  of  the  better  class  of  tenements. 
With  the  exception  of  the  brick  warehouse  of 
Howard  and  Melius,  the  establishments  of  the 
commercial  houses  of  which  we  had  heard  so 
much  were  inferior  to  the  outhouses  of  the 
country  seats  on  the  Hudson;  and  yet  it  would 
puzzle  the  New  York  Exchange  to  produce 
merchant  princes  of  equal  importance."  :: 
"We  strolled  among  the  tents  in  the  outskirts 
of  the  town.  Here  was  'confusion  worse  con- 
founded,' chiefly  among  Mexicans,  Peruvians 
and  Chilians.  Every  kind,  size,  color  and  shape 
of  tent  pitched  helter-skelter  and  in  the  most 
awkward  manner  were  stowed  full  of  everything 
under  the  sun." 

In  the  first  six  months  of  1849  fifteen  thou- 
sand souls  were  added  to  the  population  of  San 
Francisco;  in  the  latter  half  of  that  year  about 
four  thousand  arrived  every  month  by  sea  alone. 
At  first  the  immigrants  were  from  Mexico, 
Chile,  Peru  and  the  South  American  ports 
orally;    but    early   in   the    spring   the   American-; 


began  to  arrive,  coming  by  way  of  Panama  and 
Cape  Horn,  and  later  across  the  plains.  Europe 
sent  its  contingent  by  sea  via  Cape  Horn  ;.  and 
China,  Australia  and  the  Hawaiian  Islands 
added  to  the  city's  population  an  undesirable 
element.  A  large  majority  of  those  who  came 
by  sea  made  their  way  to  the  mines,  but  many- 
soon  returned  to  San  Francisco,  some  to  take 
their  departure  for  home,  others  to  become  resi- 
dents. At  the  end  of  the  year  San  Francisco 
had  a  population  of  twenty-live  thousand.  The 
following  graphic  description  of  life  in  San 
Francisco  in  the  fall  of '49  and  spring  of  '50  I  take 
from  a  paper,  "Pioneer  Days  in  San  Francisco," 
written  by  John  Williamson  Palmer,  and  pub- 
lished in  the  Century  Magazine  (1890):  "And 
how  did  they  all  live?  In  frame  houses  of  one 
story,  more  commonly  in  board  shanties  and 
canvas  tents,  pitched  in  the  midst  of  sand  or 
mud  and  various  rubbish  and  strange  filth  and 
fleas;  and  they  slept  on  rude  cots  or  on  soft 
planks,  under  horse  blankets,  on  tables,  coun- 
ters, floors,  on  trucks  in  the  open  air,  in  bunks 
braced  against  the  weather-boarding,  forty  of 
them  in  one  loft;  and  so  they  tossed  and 
scratched  and  swore  and  laughed  and  sang  and 
skylarked,  those  who  were  not  tired  or  drunk 
enough  to  sleep.  And  in  the  working  hours 
they  bustled,  and  jostled,  and  tugged,  and 
sweated,  and  made  money,  always  made  money. 
They  labored  and  they  lugged;  they  worked  on 
lighters,  drove  trucks,  packed  mules,  rang  bells, 
carried  messages,  'waited'  in  restaurants, 
"marked"  for  billiard  tallies,  served  drinks  in 
bar  rooms,  "faked'  on  the  plaza,  "cried"  at  auc- 
tions, toted  lumber  for  houses,  ran  a  game  of 
faro  or  roulette  in  the  El  Dorado  or  the  Bella 
Union,  or  manipulated  three-card  monte  on 
the  head  of  a  barrel  in  front  of  the  Parker 
House;  they  speculated,  and.  a-  a  rule,  gam- 
bled. 

"Clerks  in  stores  and  offices  had  munificent 
salaries.  Five  dollars  a  da)  was  aboul  the  small- 
est stipend  even  in  the  custom  house,  and  one 
Baptist  preacher  was  paid  $10,000  a  year.  La- 
borers received  $1  an  hour;  a  pick  or  a  shovel 
was  worth  $10;  a  tin  pan  or  a  wooden  bowl 
$5,  and  a  butcher  knife  $30.  At  one  time  car- 
penters   who    were    getting   $12    a    day    struck 


ISO 


[1ST  iRIC  \L    AND    BK  iGRAPHICAL    REi  i  iR]  >. 


[or  $16.  Lumber  rose  to  $500  per  thou- 
sand feet,  and  every  brick  in  a  house  cost 
a  dollar  one  way  or  another.  Wheat,  flour 
and  salt  pork  sold  at  $40  a  barrel;  a  small 
loaf  of  bread  was  fifty  cents  and  a  hard-boiled 
egg  a  dollar.  You  paid  $3  to  get  into  the  cir- 
cus and  $55  for  a  private  box  at  the  theater. 
Forty  dollars  was  the  price  for  ordinary  coarse 
lux  us,  and  a  pair  that  came  above  the  knees 
and  would  carry  you  gallantly  through  the  quag- 
mires brought  a  round  hundred.  When  a  shirt 
became  very  dirty  the  wearer  threw  it  away  and 
bought  a  new  one.  Washing  cost  $15  a  dozen 
in  1849. 

"Rents  were  simply  monstrous;  $3,000  a 
month  in  advance  for  a  'store'  hurriedly  built  of 
rough,  boards.  Wright  &  Co.  paid  $75,000  for 
the  wretched  little  place  on  the  corner  of  the 
plaza  that  they  called  the  Miners'  Bank,  and 
$36,000  was  asked  for  the  use  of  the  i  )ld  Adobe 
as  a  custom-house.  The  Parker  House  paid 
$120,000  a  year  in  rents,  nearly  one-half  of  that 
amount  being  collected  from  gamblers  who  held 
the  second  floor;  and  the  canvas  tent  next  door 
used  a^  a  gambling  saloon,  and  called  the  El 
Dorado,  was  good  for  $40,000  a  year.  From 
10  to  15  per  cent  a  month  was  paid  in  advance 
for  the  use  of  money  borrowed  on  substantial 
security.  The  prices  of  real  estate  went  up 
among  the  stars;  $8,000  for  a  lifty-vara  lot  that 
had  been  boughl  in  [849  for  $20.  A  lot  pur- 
1  hased  two  years  before  for  a  barrel  of  aguar- 
diente sold  for  $18,000.  Yet,  for  all  that,  every- 
body made  money. 

•'Tin-  aspeel  of  tin-  streets  of  San  Francisco  al 
this  time  was  such  as  one  may  imagine  of  an 
unsightl  sand  ami  mud  churned  by 

ontinual  grinding  of  heavy  wagons  and 
trucks  and  the  tugging  and  floundering  of 
mules  .Mid  oxen;  thoroughfares  irregu- 
lar and  uneven,  ungraded,  unpaved,  unplanked. 
obstructed  by  lumber  and  goods,  alternate 
humps  and  holes,  the  actual  dumping  places  of 
.An,  hand)-  receptacles  For  the  general 
sweepings  ami  rubbish  and  indescribable  offal 
and  filth,  the  refusi  oi  an  indiscriminate  popu- 
ng'   t'  igether   in    shanties   and    tents. 

\nd   these    conditions    extended    beyond    the 
"'in  into  die  chaparral  and  under- 


brush that  covered  the  sand  hills  on  the  north 
and  west. 

"The  flooding  rains  of  winter  transformed 
what  should  have  been  thoroughfares  into 
treacherous  quagmires  set  with  holes  and  traps 
fit  to  smother  horse  and  man.  Loads  of  brush- 
wood and  branches  of  trees  cut  from  the  hills 
were  thrown  into  these  swamps;  but  they  served 
no  more  than  a  temporary  purpose  and  the  in- 
mates of  tents  and  houses  made  such  bridges 
and  crossings  as  they  could  with  boards,  boxes 
and  barrels.  Men  waded  through  the  slough 
and  thought  themselves  lucky  when  they  sank 
no  deeper  than  their  waists." 

It  is  said  that  two  horses  mired  down  in  the 
mud  of  Montgomery  street  were  left  to  die  of 
starvation,  and  that  three  drunken  men  were 
suffocated  between  Washington  and  Jackson 
streets.  It  was  during  the  winter  of  '49  that  the 
famous  sidewalk  of  flour  sacks,  cooking  stoves 
and  tobacco  boxes  was  built.  It  extended  from 
Simmons.  Hutchinson  &  Co.'s  store  to  Adams 
Express  office,  a  distance  of  about  seventy-five 
yards.  The  first  portion  was  built  of  Chilean 
flour  in  one  hundred  pound  sacks,  next  came  the 
cooking  stoves  in  a  long  row,  and  then  followed 
a  double  row  of  tobacco  boxes  of  large  size, 
and  a  yawning  gap  of  the  walk  was  bridged  by 
a  piano.  Chile  flour,  cooking  stoves,  tobacco 
and  pianos  were  cheaper  material  for  building- 
walks,  owing  to  the  excessive  supply  of  these, 
than  lumber  at  $600  a  thousand. 

In  the  summer  of  '49  there  were  more  than 
three  hundred  sailing  vessels  lying  in  the  harbor 
of  San  Francisco,  from  which  the  sailors  had 
deserted  to  go  to  the  mines.  Some  of  these  ves- 
sels rotted  where  they  were  moored.  Some 
were  hauled  up  in  the  sand  or  mud  flats  ami 
used  for  store  houses,  lodging  houses  and  sa- 
loons. As  the  water  lots  were  filled  in  and  built 
upon,  these  ships  sometimes  formed  pari  of 
tin-  line  of  buildings  on  the  street.  The  brig 
!  uphemia  was  the  first  jail  owned  by  the  city; 
the  store  ship  \poll..  was  converted  into  a 
lodging  house  and  saloon,  anil  the  X'iantie  Hotel 

at  the  e. niier  of  Sansoiiie  and  (  l.n  streets  «,is 
built  on  the  hull  of  the  ship  Xiantie.  As  the 
wharves  were  extended  out  into  the  bay  the 
space  between   was  tilled  in   from  the   sand  hills 


HISTORICAL  AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


1M 


and  houses  built  along  the  wharves.  In  this 
way  the  cove  was  gradually  filled  in.  The  high 
price  of  lumber  and  the  great  scarcity  of  houses 
brought  about  the  importation  from  New  York, 
Boston,  Philadelphia  and  London  of  houses 
ready  framed  to  set  up.  For  a  time  im- 
mense profits  were  made  in  this,  but  an  ex- 
cessive shipment  like  that  of  the  articles  of 
which  the  famous  sidewalk  was  made  brought 
down  the  price  below  cost,  and  the  business 
ceased. 

The  first  of  the  great  fires  that  devastated  San 
Francisco  occurred  on  Christmas  eve,  1849.  It 
started  in  Denison's  Exchange,  a  gambling 
house  on  the  east  side  of  the  plaza.  It  burned 
the  greater  part  of  the  block  between  Wash- 
ington and  Clay  streets  and  Kearny  and  Mont- 
gomery streets.  The  loss  was  estimated  at  a 
million  and  a  quarter  dollars.  The  second  great 
fire  occurred  on  May  4,  1850.  It  burned  over 
the  three  blocks  between  Montgomery  and 
Dupont  streets,  bounded  by  Jackson  and  Clay 
streets,  and  the  north  and  east  sides  of  Ports- 
mouth square.  The  loss  was  estimated  at 
$4,000,000.  It  started  in  the  United  States  Ex- 
change, a  gambling  den,  at  four  o'clock  in  the 
morning,  and  burned  for  seven  hours.  The  fire 
was  believed  to  be  of  incendiary  origin  and  sev- 
eral suspicious  characters  were  arrested,  but 
nothing  could  be  proved  against  them.  A  num- 
ber of  the  lookers-on  refused  to  assist  in  arrest- 
ing the  progress  of  the  flames  unless  paid  for 
their  labor ;  and  $3  an  hour  was  demanded  and 
paid  to  some  who  did. 

On  the  14th  of  June,  1850,  a  fire  broke  out  in 
the  Sacramento  House,  on  the  east  side  of  Kear- 
ny street,  between  Clay  and  Sacramento.  The 
entire  district  from  Kearny  street  between  Clay 
and  California  to  the  water  front  was  burned 
over,  causing  a  loss  of  $3,000,000.  Over  three 
hundred  houses  were  destroyed.  The  fourth 
great  fire  of  the  fateful 'year  of  1850  occurred 
September  17.  It  started  on  Jackson  street  and 
destroyed  the  greater  part  of  the  blocks  be- 
tween Dupont  and  Montgomery  streets  from 
Washington  to  Pacific  streets.  The  loss  in  this 
was  not  so  great  from  the  fact  that  the  district 
contained  mostly  one-story  houses.  It  was  esti- 
mated at   half  a   million   dollars.      December    l_| 


of  the  same  year  a  fire  occurred  on  Sacramento 
street  below  Montgomery.  Although  the  dis- 
trict burned  over  was  not  extensive,  the  loss 
was  heavy.  The  buildings  were  of  corrugated 
iron,  supposed  to  be  fireproof,  and  were  filled 
with  valuable  merchandise.  The  loss  amounted 
to  $1,000,000.  After  each  fire,  building  was  re- 
sumed almost  before  the  embers  of  the  fire  that 
consumed  the  former  buildings  were  extin- 
guished. After  each  fire  better  buildings  were 
constructed.  A  period  of  six  months'  exemp- 
tion had  encouraged  the  inhabitants  of  the  fire- 
afflicted  city  to  believe  that  on  account  of  the 
better  class  of  buildings  constructed  the  danger 
of  great  conflagrations  was  past,  but  the  worst 
was  yet  to  come.  At  11  p.  m.  May  3,  1851,  a 
fire,  started  by  incendiaries,  broke  out  on  the 
south  side  of  the  plaza.  A  strong  northwest 
wind  swept  across  Kearny  street  in  broad 
sheets  of  flame,  first  southeastward,  then,  the 
wind  changing,  the  flames  veered  to  the  north 
and  east.  All  efforts  to  arrest  them  were  use- 
less; houses  were  blown  up  and  torn  down  in 
attempts  to  cut  off  communication,  but  the  en- 
gines were  driven  back  step  by  step,  while  some 
of  the  brave  firemen  fell  victims  to  the  fire  fiend. 
The  flames,  rising  aloft  in  whirling  volumes, 
swept  away  the  frame  houses  and  crumbled  up 
with  intense  heat  the  supposed  fireproof  struc- 
tures. After  ten  hours,  when,  the  fire  abated  for 
want  of  material  to  burn,  all  that  remained  of 
the  city  were  the  sparsely  settled  outskirts.  All 
of  the  business  district  between  Pine  and  Pa- 
cific streets,  from  Kearny  to  the  Battery  on 
the  water  front,  was  in  ruins.  Over  one  thou- 
sand houses  had  been  burned.  The  loss  of  prop- 
erty was  estimated  at  $10,000,000,  an  amount 
greater  than  the  aggregate  of  all  the  preceding 
fires.  A  number  of  lives  were  lust.  During  the 
progress  of  the  fire  large  quantities  of  goods 
were  stolen  by  bands  of  thieves.  The  sixth  and 
last  of  the  great  conflagrations  that  dev; 
the  city  occurred  on  the  22d  of  June.  [851.  The 
fire  started  in  a  building  on  Powell  street  and 
ravaged  the  district  between  Cla)  andBroadway, 
from  Powell  to  Sansome  Foui  hundred  and 
fifty  houses  were  burned,  involving  a  loss  of 
$2,500,000.       An      inn-  department, 

more  stringent  building  regulations  and  a  bet- 


182 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


ter  water  supply  combined  to  put  an  end  to  the 
era  of  great  fires. 

After  the  great  fires  of  1851  had  swept  over 
the  city  there  was  practically  nothing  left  of 
the  old  metropolis  of  the  early  gold  rush.  The 
hastily  constructed  wooden  shanties  were  gone; 
the  corrugated  iron  building  imported  from 
Xew  York  and  London,  and  warranted  to  be 
fireproof,  had  proved  to  be  worthless  to  with- 
stand great  heat;  the  historic  buildings  had  dis- 
appeared; the  new  city  that.  Phcenix-like,  arose 
from  the  ashes  of  the  old  was  a  very  different 
city  from  its  predecessor  that  had  been  wiped 
from  the  earth  by  successive  conflagrations. 
Stone  and  brick  buildings  covered  the  former 
site  of  wooden  structures.  The  unsightly  mud 
flats  between  the  wharves  were  filled  in  from  the 
sand  hills  and  some  of  the  streets  paved.  The 
year  1853  was  memorable  for  the  rapid  progress 
of  the  city.  Assessed  property  values  increased 
from  $18,000,000  to  $28,000,000.  Real  estate 
values  went  soaring  upward  and  the  city  was  on 
the  high  tide  of  prosperity;  but  a  reaction  came 
in  1855.  The  rush  to  the  mines  had  ceased,  im- 
migration had  fallen  off,  and  men  had  begun  to 
retrench  and  settle  down  to  steady  business 
habits.  Hume  productions  had  replaced  im- 
ports, and  the  people  were  abandoning  mining 
for  farms.  The  transition  from  gold  mining  to 
grain  growing  had  begun.  All  these  affected 
the  city  and  real  estate  declined.  Lots  that  sold 
fur  SS.ooo  to  $10,000  in  1853  could  be  bought 
for  half  that  amount  in  1855.  Out  of  one  thou- 
sand business  houses,  three  hundred  were  va- 
cant. Another  influence  that  helped  to  bring 
about    a    depression    was    the   growing   political 


corruption  and  the  increased  taxation  from  pec- 
ulations of  dishonest  officials. 

The  defalcations  and  forgeries  of  Harry 
Meigs,  which  occurred  in  1854,  were  a  terrible 
blow  to  the  city.  Meigs  was  one  of  its  most 
trusted  citizens.  He  was  regarded  as  the  em- 
bodiment of  integrity,  the  stern,  incorruptible 
man,  the  watch-dog  of  the  treasury.  By  his 
upright  conduct  he  had  earned  the  sobriquet  of 
Honest  Harry  Meigs.  Over-speculation  and 
reaction  from  the  boom  of  1853  embarrassed 
him.  He  forged  a  large  amount  of  city  scrip 
and  hypothecated  it  to  raise  money.  His  forger- 
ies were  suspected,  but  before  the  truth  was 
known  he  made  his  escape  on  the  barque 
America  to  Costa  Rica  and  from  there  he  made 
his  way  to  Peru.  His  forgeries  amounted  to 
$1,500,000,  of  which  $1,000,000  was  in  comp- 
troller's warrants,  to  which  he  forged  the  names 
of  Mayor  Garrison  and  Controller  Harris.  The 
vigilance  committee  of  1856  cleared  the  political 
atmosphere  by  clearing  the  city,  by  means  of 
hemp  and  deportation,  of  a  number  of  bad 
characters.  The  city  was  just  beginning  to  re- 
gain its  former  prosperity  when  the  Frazer  river 
excitement  brought  about  a  temporary  depres- 
sion. The  wild  rush  carried  away  about  one- 
sixth  of  its  population.  These  all  came  back 
again,  poorer  and  perhaps  wiser;  at  least,  their 
necessities  compelled  them  to  go  to  work  and 
weaned  them  somewhat  of  their  extravagant 
habits  and  their  disinclination  to  work  except  for 
the  large  returns  of  earlier  days.  Since  1857  the 
growth  of  the  city  has  been  steady,  unmarked 
by  real  estate  booms:  nor  has  it  been  retarded 
by  long  periods  of  financial  depression. 


CHAPTER   XXVII. 

CRIME,    CRIMINALS    AND    VIGILANCE    COMMITTEES. 


THERE  was  hut  little  crime  in  California 
anion-  its  white  inhabitants  during  the 
Spanish  and  Mexican  eras  <>f  its  history. 
The  conditions  were  not  conducive  to  the  de- 
.  nt  of  a  criminal  element.  The  inhabit- 
ants were  a  pastoral  people,  pursuing  an  out- 
door vocation,  and  there  were  no  large  towns 
or  cities  where  the  viciously  inclined  could  con- 


gregate and  find  a  place  of  refuge  from  justice. 
"From  1819  to  1846.  that  is.  during  the  entire 
period  of  Mexican  domination  under  the  Repub- 
lic," says  Bancroft,  "there  were  but  six  murders 
among  the  whites  in  all  California."  There  were 
no  lyuchings,  no  mobs,  unless  some  of  the  rev- 
olutionary uprisings  might  be  called  such,  and 
hut  one  vigilance  committee. 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


San  Francisco  is  credited  with  the  origin  of 
that  form  of  popular  tribunal  known  as  the  vigi- 
lance   committee.      The    name    "vigilance    com- 
mittee" originated  with  the  uprising,  in  1851,  of 
the  people  of  that  city  against  the  criminal  cle- 
ment;   but,  years  before  there  was  a  city  of  San 
Francisco,    Los   Angeles   had   originated  a   tri- 
bunal of  the  people,  had  taken  criminals  from 
the  lawfully  constituted  authorities  and  had  tried 
and  executed  them.     The  causes  which  called 
into  existence  the  first  vigilance  committee  in 
California  were  similar  to  those  that  created  the 
later  ones,  namely,  laxity  in  the  administration 
of    the    laws    and    distrust    in    the    integrity    of 
those  chosen  to  administer  them.    During  the 
"decade  of  revolutions,"  that  is,  between   1830 
and  1840,  the  frequent  change  of  rulers  and  the 
struggles  of  the  different  factions  for  power  en- 
gendered in  the   masses  a   disregard,  not  only 
for  their  rulers,  but  for  law  and  order  as  well. 
Criminals     escaped    punishment     through     the 
law's  delays.     Xo  court  in  California  had  power 
to  pass  sentence  of  death  on  a  civilian  until  its 
findings  had  been  approved  by  the  superior  tri- 
bunal of  Mexico.    In  the  slow  and  tedious  proc- 
esses of  the  different  courts,  a  criminal  stood  a 
good  show  of  dying  of  old  age  before  his  case 
reached  final  adjudication.     The  first  committee 
of  vigilance  in  California  was  organized  at  Los 
Angeles,  in  the  house  of  Juan  Temple.  April  7, 
1836.     It  was  called    "Junta    Defensora    de  La 
Seguridad    Publica,"   United   Defenders   of   the 
Public  Security  (or  safety).    Its  motto,  which  ap- 
pears in  the  heading  of  its  "acta,"  and  is  there 
credited  as  a  quotation  from  Montesquieu's  Ex- 
position of  the  Laws,  Book  26,  Chapter  23,  was, 
"Salus  populi  suprema  lex  est"  (The  safely  of 
the   people   is   the   supreme   law).     There   is    a 
marked   similarity   between  the   proceedings   of 
the  Junta  Defensora  of  1836  and  the  San  Fran- 
cisco  vigilance    committee   of    1856:    it    is    not 
probable,  however,  that  any  of  the  actors  in  the 
latter    committee    participated    in    the    former. 
Although  there   is  quite  a   full   account   of   the 
proceedings  of  the  Junta  Defensora  in  the  Los 
Angeles   city  archives,   no   historian   heretofore 
except  Bancroft  seems  to  have  found  it. 

The  circumstances  which  brought  about  the 
organization  of  the  lunta  Defensora  are  as  fol- 


lows: The  wife  of  Domingo  Feliz  (part  owner 
of  the  Los  Feliz  Rancho),  who  bore  the  poet- 
ical name  of  Maria  del  Rosario  Villa,  became 
infatuated  with  a  handsome  but  disreputable 
Sonorau  vaquero,  Gervacio  Alispaz  by  name. 
She  abandoned  her  husband  and  lived  with  Alis- 
paz as  his  mistress  at  San  Gabriel.  Feliz  sought 
to  reclaim  his  erring  wife,  but  was  met  by  in- 
sults and  abuse  from  her  paramour,  whom  he 
once  wounded  in  a  personal  altercation.  Feliz 
finally  invoked  the  aid  of  the  authorities.  The 
woman  was  arrested  and  brought  to  town.  A 
reconciliation  was  effected  between  the  husband 
and  wife.  Two  days  later  they  left  town  for  the 
rancho,  both  riding  one  horse.  On  the  way 
they  were  met  by  Alispaz,  and  in  a  personal  en- 
counter Feliz  was  stabbed  to  death  by  the  wife's 
paramour.  The  body  was  dragged  into  a  ra- 
vine and  covered  with  brush  and  leaves.  Next 
day,  March  29,  the  body  was  found  and  brought 
to  the  city.  The  murderer  and  the  woman  were 
arrested  and  imprisoned.  The  people  were  filled 
with  horror  and  indignation,  and  there  were 
threats  of  summary  vengeance,  but  better  coun- 
sel prevailed. 

On  the  30th  the  funeral  of  Feliz  took  place, 
and,  like  that  of  James  King  of  William,  twenty 
years  later,  was  the  occasion  for  the  renewal  of 
the  outcry  for  vengeance.  The  attitude  of  the 
people  became  so  threatening  that  on  the  1st 
of  April  an  extraordinary  session  of  the  avun- 
tamiento  was  held.  A  call  was  made  upon  the 
citizens  to  form  an  organization  to  preserve  the 
peace.  A  considerable  number  responded  and 
were  formed  into  military  patrols  under  the 
command  of  Don  Juan  P..  Leandry.  The  illus- 
trious ayuntamiento  resolved  "that  win  mi 
shall  disturb  the  public  tranquillit)  shall  be  pun- 
ished according  to  law."  The  excitement  ap- 
parentl)  died  out.  bul  it  was  only  the  calm  that 
precedes  tin-  storm.  The  beginning  of  the 
Easter  ceremonies  was  at  hand,  and  it  was 
deemed  a  sacrilege  to  execute  the  assassins  in 
hoi)  week,  so  all  further  attempts  at  punishment 
vere  deferred  until  April  7.  the  Monday  after 
Easter,  when  at  dawn.  1>\  previous  undei 
ing.  a  number  of  the  better  class  of  citizens  met 
at  the  house  of  Juan  Temple,  which  stood  on 
the  present  site  of  the  Downey  Block.     An  or- 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


ganization  was  effected.  Victor  Prudon,  a  na- 
tive of  Breton,  France,  but  a  naturalized  citizen 
of  (  alifornia,  was  elected  president;  Manuel 
Arzaga,  a  native  of  California,  was  elected  sec- 
retary, and  Francisco  Araujo,  a  retired  army 
.  was  placed  in  command  of  the  armed 
force.  Speeches  were  made  by  Prudon,  and  by 
the  military  commandant  and  others,  setting 
forth  the  necessity  of  their  organization  and  jus- 
tifying their  actions.  It  was  unanimously  de- 
cided that  both  the  man  and  the  woman  should 
be  shot;  their  guilt  being  evident,  no  trial  was 
deemed  necessary. 

An  address  to  the  authorities  and  the  people 
was  formulated.  A  copy  of  this  is  preserved  in 
the  city  archives.  It  abounds  in  metaphors. 
It  is  too  long  for  insertion  here.  I  make  a  few 
extracts:     ":  ::     Believing  that  immorality 

has  reached  such  an  extreme  that  public  secur- 
ity is  menaced  and  will  be  lost  if  the  dike  of  a 
solemn  example  is  not  opposed  to  the  torrent 
of  atrocious  perfidy,  we  demand  of  you  that  you 
execute  or  deliver  to  us  for  immediate  execution 
the  assassin,  Gervacio  Alispaz,  ami  the  unfaith- 
ful Maria  del  Rosario  Villa,  his  accomplice. 
'"  *  *  Nature  trembles  at  the  sight  of  these 
venomous  reptiles  and  the  soil  turns  barren  in 
its  refusal  to  support  their  detestable  existence. 
Let  the  infernal  pair  perish!  It  is  the  will  of  the 
people.  We  will  not  lay  down  our  arms  until  our 
petition  is  granted  and  the  murderers  are  exe- 
cuted. The  proof  of  their  guilt  is  so  clear  that 
justice  needs  no  investigation.  Public  vengeance 
demands  an  example  and  it  must  be  given.  The 
blood  of  the  Alvarez,  of  the  Patinos,  of  the 
Jenkins,  is  not  yet  cold — they,  too,  being  the 
unfortunate  victims  of  the  brutal  passions  of 
their  murderers.  Their  bloody  ghosts  shriek 
for  vengeance.  Their  terrible  voices  re-echo 
from  their  graves.  The  afflicted  widow,  the  for- 
saken orphan,  the  aged  father,  the  brother  in 
mourning,  the  inconsolable  mother,  the  public 
— all  demand  speed)-  punishment  of  the  guilty. 
We  -wear  that  outraged  justice  shall  be  avenged 
to-day  or  we  shall  die  in  the  attempt.  The  blood 
-  if  ill.'  mui  di  i  it  shall  he  sh<  d  to  da)  or  ours 
will  be  to  the  last  drop.  It  will  be  published 
the  world  that  judges  in  Los  An- 
geles   tolerate    murderers,    but     that    there    are 


virtuous  citizens  who  sacrifice  their  lives  in 
order  to  preserve  those  of  their  countrymen." 

"A  committee  will  deliver  to  the  First  Consti- 
tutional Alcalde  a  copy  of  these  resolutions, 
that  he  may  decide  whatever  he  finds  most  con- 
venient, and  one  hour's  time  will  be  given  him 
in  which  to  do  so.  If  in  that  time  no  answer  has 
been  received,  then  the  judge  will  be  responsible 
before  God  and  man  for  what  will  follow.  Death 
to  the  murderers! 

"God  and  liberty.     Angeles.  April  7,  1836." 

Fifty-five  signatures  are  attached  to  this  doc- 
ument; fourteen  of  these  are  those  of  natural- 
ized foreigners  and  the  remainder  those  of  na- 
tive Californians.  The  junta  was  made  up  of 
the  best  citizens,  native  and  foreign.  An  extraor- 
dinary session  of  the  ayuntamiento  was  called. 
The  members  of  the  junta,  fully  armed,  marched 
to  the  city  hall  to  await  the  decision  of  the 
authorities.  The  petition  was  discussed  in  the 
council,  and,  in  the  language  of  the  archives: 
"This  Illustrious  Body  decided  to  call  said 
Breton  Prudon  to  appear  before  it  and  to  com- 
pel him  to  retire  with  the  armed  citizens  so  that 
this  Illustrious  Body  may  deliberate  at  liberty." 

"This  was  done,  but  he  declined  to  appear 
before  this  body,  as  he  and  the  armed  citizens 
were  determined  to  obtain  Gervacio  Alispaz  and 
Maria  del  Rosario  Villa.  The  ayuntamiento 
decided  that  as  it  had  not  sufficient  force  to 
compel  the  armed  citizens  to  disband,  they 
being  in  large  numbers  and  composed  of  the 
best  and  most  respectable  men  of  the  town,  to 
send  an  answer  saying  that  the  judges  could 
not  accede  to  the  demand  of  the  armed  citi- 
zens." 

The  members  of  the  Junta  Defensora  then 
marched  in  a  body  to  the  jail  and  demanded  the 
keys  of  the  guard.  These  were  refused.  The 
keys  were  secured  by  force  and  Gervacio  Alispaz 
taken  out  and  shot.  The  following  demand  was 
then  sent  to  the  first  alcalde,  Manuel  Requena: 

"It  is  absolutely  necessary  that  you  deliver 
to  this  junta  the  key  of  the  apartment  where 
Maria  del   Rosario  Villa  is  kept. 

"God   and   libertj 

"Victor  Prudon,  President. 
"Manuel  Arzaga.  Secretarv." 


HISTORICAL  AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


ls.- 


To  this  the  alcaide  replied:  "Maria  del  Rosa- 
rio  Villa  is  incarcerated  at  a  private  dwelling, 
whose  owner  has  the  key,  with  instructions  not 
to  deliver  the  same  to  any  one.  The  prisoner  is 
left  there  at  the  disposition  of  the  law  only. 

"God  and  liberty. 

"Manuel  Requena,  Alcalde." 

The  key  was  obtained.  The  wretched  Maria 
was  taken  to  the  place  of  execution  on  a  car- 
reta  and  shot.  The  bodies  of  the  guilty  pair 
were  brought  back  to  the  jail  and  the  following 
communication  sent  to  the  alcalde: 

"Junta  of  the  Defenders  of  Public  Safety. 

"To  the  i st  Constitutional  Alcalde: 
"The  dead  bodies  of  Gervacio  Alispaz  and 
Maria  del  Rosario  Villa  are  at  your  disposal. 
We  also  forward  you  the  jail  keys  that  you  may 
deliver  them  to  whomsoever  is  on  guard.  In 
case  you  are  in  need  of  men  to  serve  as  guards, 
we  are  all  at  your  disposal. 

"God  and  liberty.  Angeles,  April  7,  1836. 
"Victor  Prudon,  Pres. 
"Manuel  Arzaga,  Sec." 

A  few  days  later  the  Junta  Defensora  de  La 
Seguridad  Publica  disbanded:  and  so  ended  the 
only  instance  in  the  seventy-five  years  of  Span- 
ish and  Mexican  rule  in  California,  of  the  people, 
by  popular  tribunal,  taking  the  administration  of 
justice  out  of  the  hands  of  the  legally  consti- 
tuted authorities. 

The  tales  of  the  fabulous  richness  of  the  gold 
fields  of  California  were  quickly  spread  through- 
out the  world  and  drew  to  the  territory  all 
classes  and  conditions  of  men,  the  bad  as  well 
as  the  good,  the  vicious  as  well  as  the  virtuous; 
the  indolent,  the  profligate  and  the  criminal 
came  to  prey  upon  the  industrious.  These  con- 
glomerate elements  of  society  found  the  Land 
of  Gold  practically  without  law,  and  the  vicious 
among  them  were  not  long  in  making  it  a  land 
without  order.  With  that  inherent  trait,  which 
makes  the  Anglo-Saxon  wherever  he  may  be 
an  organizer,  the  American  element  of  the  gold 
seekers  soon  adjusted  a  form  of  government  to 
suit  the  exigencies  of  the  land  and  the  people. 
There  may  have  been  too  much  lynching,  too 
much    vigilance   committee   in   it   and  too   little 


respect  for  lawfully  constituted  authorities,  but 
it  was  effective  and  was  suited  to  the  social 
conditions  existing. 

In  1851  the  criminal  element  became  so  dom- 
inant as  to  seriously  threaten  the  existence  of 
the  chief  city,  San  Francisco.  Terrible  conflagra- 
tions had  swept  over  the  city  in  May  and  June 
of  that  year  and  destroyed  the  greater  part  of 
the  business  portion.  The  fires  were  known  to 
be  of  incendiary  origin.  The  bold  and  defiant 
attitude  of  the  vicious  classes  led  to  the  or- 
ganization by  the  better  element,  of  that  form 
of  popular  tribunal  called  a  committee  of  vigi- 
lance. The  law  abiding  element  among  the  cit- 
izens disregarding  the  legally  constituted 
authorities,  who  were  either  too  weak  or  too 
corrupt  to  control  the  law-defying,  took  the 
power  in  their  own  hands,  organized  a  vigilance 
committee  and  tried  and  executed  by  hanging 
four  notorious  criminals,  namely:  Jenkins, 
Stuart,  Whitaker  and  McKenzie. 

During  the  proceedings  of  the  vigilance  com- 
mittee a  case  of  mistaken  identity  came  near 
costing  an  innocent  man  his  life.  About  8 
o'clock  in  the  evening  of  February  18,  two  men 
entered  the  store  of  a  Mr.  Jansen  on  Mont- 
gomery street  and  asked  to  see  some  blankets. 
As  the  merchant  stooped  to  get  the  blankets 
one  of  the  men  struck  him  with  a  sling  shot  and 
both  of  them  beat  him  into  insensibility.  They 
then  opened  his  desk  and  carried  away  all  the 
gold  they  could  find,  about  $2,000.  The  police 
arrested  two  men  on  suspicion  of  being  the  rob- 
bers. One  of  the  men  was  identified  as  James 
Stuart,  a  noted  criminal,  who  had  murdered 
Sheriff  Moore  at  Auburn.  He  gave  the  name  of 
Thomas  Burdue,  but  this  was  believed  to  be  one 
of  Stuart's  numerous  aliases.  The  men  were 
identified  by  Mr.  Jansen  as  his  assailants.  They 
were  put  on  trial.  When  the  court  adjourned 
over  to  the  next  day  a  determined  effort  was 
made  by  the  crowd  to  seize  the  men  and  hang 
them.  The_\'  were  finally  taken  out  of  the  hands 
of  the  officers  and  given  a  trial  by  a  jury  selected 
by  a  committee  of  citizens.  The  jury  failed  to 
agree,  three  of  the  jury  being  convinced  that 
the  men  were  nol  Jansen's  assailants.  Then  the 
mob  made  a  rush  to  hang  tlu-  jury,  but  were 
kept  back  by  a  show  of  revolvers.    The  prison- 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


ers  were  turned  over  to  the  court.  One  of 
them,  Wildred,  broke  jail  and  escaped.  Burdue 
was  tried,  convicted  and  sentenced  to  fourteen 
years'  imprisonment.  Before  the  sentence  of 
the  court  was  executed  he  was  taken  to  Marys- 
villc  and  arraigned  for  the  murder  of  Sheriff 
Moore.  A  number  of  witnesses  swore  positively 
that  the  man  was  Stuart;  others  swore  even  more 
positively  that  he  was  not.  A  close  examination 
revealed  that  the  prisoner  bore  every  distin- 
guishing mark  on  his  person  by  which  Stuart 
could  be  identified.  He  was  convicted  and  sen- 
tenced to  be  hanged  in  thirty  days.  In  the  mean- 
time the  vigilance  committee  of  1856  was  or- 
ganized and  the  real  Stuart  accidentally  fell  into 
the  hands  of  the  vigilantes  at  San  Francisco. 
He  was  arrested  for  a  theft  he  had  not  com- 
mitted and  recognized  by  one  of  the  committee's 
guards  that  he  had  formerly  employed  in  the 
mines.  By  adroit  questioning  he  was  forced  to 
confess  that  he  was  the  real  Stuart,  the  murderer 
of  Sheriff  Moore  and  the  assailant  of  Jansen. 
His  confederate  in  the  robbery  was  Whitaker, 
one  of  the  four  hanged  by  the  committee.  Bur- 
due  was  finally  released,  after  having  twice 
stood  under  the  shadow-  of  the  gallows  for  the 
crimes  of  his  double.  The  confessions  of  Stuart 
and  Whitaker  implicated  a  number  of  their  pals. 
Some  of  these  were  convicted  and  sent  to  prison 
and  others  fled  the  country;  about  thirty  were 
banished.  Nearly  all  of  the  criminals  were  ex- 
convicts  from  Australia  and  Tasmania. 

The  vigorous  measures  adopted  by  the  com- 
mittee purified  the  city  of  the  vicious  class  that 
had  preyed  upon  it.  Several  of  the  smaller 
towns  and  some  of  the  mining  camps  organized 
vigilance  committees  and  a  number  of  the 
knaves  who  had  (led  from  San  Francisco  met  a 
deserved  fate  in  other  places. 

In  the  early  '50s  the  better  elements  of  San 
Francisco's  population  were  so  engrossed  in 
business  that  they  had  no  time  to  spare  to  look 
after  its  political  affairs;  and  its  government 
gradually  drifted  into  the  hands  of  vicious  and 
corrupt  men.  Many  of  the  city  authorities  had 
obtained  their  offices  by  fraud  and  ballot  stuf- 
fing and  "instead  of  protecting  the  community 
against  scoundrels  they  protected  tin-  scoundrels 
against  the  community."     James  King  of  Will 


iam,  an  ex-banker  and  a  man  of  great  courage 
and  persistence,  started  a  small  paper  called 
the  Daily  Evening  Bulletin.  He  vigorously  as- 
sailed the  criminal  elements  and  the  city  and 
county  officials.  His  denunciations  aroused  pub- 
lic sentiment.  The  murder  of  United  States 
.Marshal  Richardson  by  a  gambler  named  Cora 
still  further  inflamed  the  public  mind.  It  was 
feared  that  by  the  connivance  of  some  of  the 
corrupt  county  officials  Cora  would  escape  pun- 
ishment. His  trial  resulted  in  a  hung  jury. 
There  was  a  suspicion  that  some  of  the  jury- 
men were  bribed.  King  continued  through  the 
Bulletin  to  hurl  his  most  bitter  invectives  against 
the.  corrupt  officials.  They  determined  to  silence 
him.  He  published  the  fact  that  James  Casey, 
a  supervisor  from  the  twelfth  ward,  was  an  ex- 
convict  of  Sing  Sing  prison.  Casey  waylaid 
King  at  the  corner  of  Montgomery  and  Wash- 
ington streets  and  in  a  cowardly  manner  shot 
him  down.  The  shooting  occurred  on  the  14th 
of  May,  1856.  Casey  immediately  surrendered 
himself  to  a  deputy  sheriff,  Lafayete  M.  Byrne, 
who  was  near.  King  was  not  killed,  but  an  ex- 
amination of  the  wound  by  the  physicians  de- 
cided that  there  was  no  hopes  of  his  recovery. 
Casey  was  conducted  to  the  city  prison  and  as 
a  mob  began  to  gather,  for  greater  safety  he 
was  taken  to  the  county  jail.  A  crowd  pursued 
him  crying,  "Hang  him,"  "kill  him."  At  the 
jail  the  mob  was  stopped  by  an  array  of  deputy- 
sheriffs,  police  officers  and  a  number  of  Casey's 
friends,  all  armed.  The  excitement  spread 
throughout  the  city.  The  old  vigilance  com- 
mittee of  185 1,  or  rather  a  new  organization  out 
of  the  remnant  of  the  old.  was  formed.  Five 
thousand  men  were  enrolled  in  a  few  days. 
Arms  were  procured  and  headquarters  estab- 
lished on  Sacramento  street  between  Davis  and 
Front.  The  men  were  divided  into  companies. 
William  T.  Coleman,  chairman  of  the  vigilance 
committee  of  1851,  was  made  president  or  No.  1, 
and  [saac  Bluxome,  Jr.,  the  secretary,  was  No. 
33.  Each  man  was  known  by  number.  Charles 
Doane  was  elected  chief  marshal  of  the  military 

divisii  'II. 

The  San  Francisco  Herald  (edited  by  John 
Nugent),  then  the  leading  paper  of  the  city,  came 
out    with    a    scathing  editorial   denouncing  the 


HISTORICAL  AND    BIOGRAPHICAL- RECORD. 


ls7 


vigilance  committee.  The  merchants  at  once 
withdrew  their  advertising  patronage.  Next 
morning  the  paper  appeared  reduced  from  forty 
columns  to  a  single  page,  but  still  hostile  to  the 
committee.  It  finally  died  for  want  of  patron- 
age. 

On  Sunday,  May  18,  1856,  the  military  di- 
vision was  ready  to  storm  the  jail  if  necessary  to 
obtain  possession  of  the  prisoners,  Casey  and 
Cora.  The  different  companies,  marching  from 
their  headquarters  by  certain  prescribed  routes, 
all  reached  the  jail  at  the  same  time  and  com- 
pletely invested  it.  They  had  with  them  two 
pieces  of  artillery.  One  of  these  guns  was 
planted  so  as  to  command  the  door  of  the  jail. 
There  were  fifteen  hundred  vigilantes  under 
arms.  A  demand  was  made  on  Sheriff  Scannell 
for  the  prisoners,  Cora  and  Casey.  The  prison 
guard  made  no  resistance,  the  prisoners  were 
surrendered  and  taken  at  once  to  the  vigilantes' 
headquarters. 

On  the  20th  of  May  the  murderers  were  put 
on  trial;  while  the  trial  was  in  progress  the 
death  of  King  was  announced.  Both  men  were 
convicted  and  sentenced  to  be  hanged.  King's 
funeral,  the  largest  and  most  imposing  ever  seen 
in  San  Francisco,  took  place  on  the  23d.  While 
the  funeral  cortege  was  passing  through  the 
streets  Casey  and  Cora  were  hanged  in  front  of 
the  windows  of  the  vigilance  headquarters. 
About  an  hour  before  his  execution  Cora  was 
married  to  a  notorious  courtesan,  Arabella 
Ryan,  but  commonly  called  Belle  Cora.  A 
Catholic  priest,  Father  Accolti,  performed  the 
ceremony. 

Governor  J.  Xeely  Johnson,  who  at  first 
seemed  inclined  not  to  interfere  with  the  vig- 
ilantes, afterwards  acting  under  the  advice  of 
David  S.  Terry,  Yolney  E.  Howard  and  others 
of  dominant  pro-slavery  faction,  issued  a  proc- 
lamation commanding  the  committee  to  disband, 
to  which  no  attention  was  paid.  The  governor 
then  appointed  William  T.  Sherman  major-gen- 
eral. Sherman  called  for  recruits  to  suppress 
the  uprising.  Seventy-five  or  a  hundred,  mostly 
gamblers,  responded  to  his  call.  General  Wool, 
in  command  of  the  troops  in  the  department  of 
the  Pacific,  refused  to  loan  Governor  Johnson 
arms  to  equip  his  "law  and  order"  recruits  and 


General  Sherman  resigned.  Yolney  E.  Howard 
was  then  appointed  major-general.  His  princi- 
pal military  service  consisted  in  proclaiming 
what  he  would  do  to  the  "pork  merchants"  who 
constituted  the  committee.  "He  did  nothing  ex- 
cept to  bluster.  A  squad  of  the  vigilance  po- 
lice attempted  to  arrest  a  man  named  Maloney. 
Maloney  was  at  the  time  in  the  company  of 
David  S.  Terry  (then  chief  justice  of  the  state) 
and  several  other  members  of  the  "law  and  or- 
der" party.  They  resisted  the  police  and  in  the 
melee  Terry  stabbed  the  sergeant  of  the  squad, 
Sterling  A.  Hopkins,  and  then  he  and  his  as- 
sociates made  their  escape  to  the  armory  of  the 
San  Francisco  Blues,  one  of  their  strongholds. 

When  the  report  of  the  stabbing  reached 
headquarters  the  great  bell  sounded  the  alarm 
and  the  vigilantes  in  a  very  brief  space  of  time 
surrounded  the  armory  building  and  had  their 
cannon  planted  to  batter  ft  down.  Terrv,  Ma- 
loney, and  the  others  of  their  party  in  the  build- 
ing, considering  discretion  the  better  part  of 
valor,  surrendered  and  were  at  once  taken  to 
Fort  Gunnybags,"  the  vigilantes'  headquarters. 
The  arms  of  the  "law  and  order"  party  at  their 
various  rendezvous  were  surrendered  to  the  vig- 
ilantes and  the  companies  disbanded. 

Terry  was  closely  confined  in  a  cell  at  the 
headquarters  of  the  committee;  Hopkins,  after 
lingering  some  time  between  life  and  death, 
finally  recovered.  Terry  was  tried  for  assault 
on  Hopkins  and  upon  several  other  persons,  was 
found  guilty,  but,  after  being  held  as  a  prisoner 
for  some  time,  was  finally  released.  He  at  once 
joined  Johnson  and  Howard  at  Sacramento, 
where  he  felt  much  safer  than  in  San  Francisco. 
He  gave  the  vigilantes  no  more  trouble. 

On  the  29th  of  July,  Hethrington  and  Brace 
were  hanged  from  a  gallows  erected  on  Davis 
street,  between  Sacramento  and  Commercial. 
Both  of  these  men  had  committed  murder. 
These  were  the  last  executions  by  the  commit- 
tee. The  committee  transported  from  the  state 
thirty  disreputable  characters  and  a  number  de- 
ported themselves.    A  few,  and  among  them  the 


*The  vigilantes  built  around  the  building  which  they 
used  for  headquarters  a  breastwork  made  "i"  gunny- 
sacks   filled   with   sand.     Cannon   were  planted  at  the 

corners  of  the  redout, 


US8 


HISTORICAL  AND    BIOGRAI'HICAL    RECORD. 


notorious  Ned  McGowan,  managed  to  keep  con- 
cealed until  the  storm  was  over.  A  few  of  the 
expatriated  returned  after  the  committee  dis- 
solved and  brought  suit  for  damages,  but  failed 
to  recover  anything.  The  committee  had  paid 
the  fare  of  the  exiles.  It  was  only  the  high 
toned  rascals  who  were  given  a  cabin  passage 
that  brought  the  suits.  The  committee  finished 
its  labors  and  dissolved  with  a  grand  parade  on 
the  i8th  of  August  (.1856).  It  did  a  good  work. 
For  several  years  after,  San  Francisco  from  be- 
ing one  of  the  worst,  became  one  of  the  best 
governed  cities  in  the  L'nited  States.  The  com- 
mittee was  made  up  of  men  from  the  northern 
and  western  states.  The  so-called  "law  and 
order"  party  was  mostly  composed  of  the  pro- 
slavery  office-holding  faction  that  ruled  the  state 
at   that   time. 

When  the  vigilance  committees  between  1851 
and  1856  drove  disreputable  characters  from 
San  Francisco  and  the  northern  mines,  many  of 
them  drifted  southward  ami  found  a  lodgment 
for  a  time  in  the  southern  cities  and  towns.  Los 
Angeles  was  not  far  from  the  Mexican  line,  and 
any  one  who  desired  to  escape  from  justice, 
fleet  mounted,  could  speedily  put  himself  be- 
yond the  reach  of  his  pursuers.  All  these 
causes  and  influences  combined  to  produce  a 
saturnalia  of  crime  that  disgraced  that  city  in 
the  early  '50s. 

Gen.  J.  II.  Bean,  a  prominent  citizen  of 
Southern  California,  while  returning  to  Los  An- 
geles from  his  place  of  business  at  San  Gabriel 
late  "lie  evening  in  November,  1852,  was  at- 
tacked by  two  men,  who  had  been  lying  in  wait 
For  him.  One  seized  the  bridle  of  his  horse  and 
jerked  the  animal  back  on  his  haunches;  the 
1  itln  r  seized  the  general  and  pulled  him  from  the 
saddle.  Bean  made  a  desperate  resistance,  but 
was  overpowered  and  stabbed  l<>  death.  The 
assassination  of  General  Bean  resulted  in  the 
organization  of  a  vigilance  committee  and  an 
effort  was  made  to  rid  the  country  of  desper- 
adoes. A  number  of  arrests  were  made.  Three 
ts  were  tried  by  the  committee  for  various 
crimes.  One,  Cipiano  Sandoval,  a  poor  cob- 
bler of  San  Gabriel,  was  charged  with  complicity 
if  the  murder  1  if  I  leneral  Bean.    1  le  strenuously 


d  that  h 


other  two,  were  sentenced  to  be  hanged.  On 
the  following  Sunday  morning  the  doomed  men 
were  conducted  to  the  top  of  Fort  Hill,  where 
the  gallows  stood.  Sandoval  made  a*  brief 
speech,  again  declaring  his  innocence.  The 
others  awaited  their  doom  in  silence.  The  trap 
fell  and  all  were  launched  into  eternity.  Years 
afterward  one  of  the  real  murderers  on  his 
deathbed  revealed  the  truth  and  confessed  his 
part  in  the  crime.  The  poor  cobbler  was  inno- 
cent. 

In  1854  drunkenness,  gambling,  murder  and 
all  forms  of  immorality  and  crime  were  ram- 
pant in  Los  Angeles.  The  violent  deaths,  it  is 
said,  averaged  one  for  every  day  in  the  year.  It 
was  a  common  question  at  the  breakfast  table, 
"Well,  how  many  were  killed  last  night?"  Little 
or  no  attention  was  paid  to  the  killing  of  an 
Indian  or  a  half  breed;  it  was  only  when  a  gente 
de  razon  was  the  victim  that  the  community  was 
aroused  to  action. 

The  Kern  river  gold  rush,  in  the  winter  of 
1854-55,  brought  from  the  northern  mines  fresh 
relays  of  gamblers  and  desperadoes  and  crime 
increased.  The  Southern  Califomian  of  March 
7,  1855,  commenting  on  the  general  lawlessness 
prevailing,  says:  "Last  Sunday  night  was  a 
brisk  night  for  killing.  Four  men  were  shot 
and  killed  and  several  wounded  in  shooting  af- 
frays." 

A  worthless  fellow  by  the  name  of  David 
Brown,  who  had,  without  provocation,  killed  a 
companion  named  Clifford,  was  tried  and  sen- 
tenced to  be  hanged  with  one  Felipe  Alvitre,  a 
Mexican,  who  had  murdered  an  American 
named  Ellington,  at  El  Monte.  There  was  a 
feeling  among  the  people  that  Brown,  through 
quibbles  of  law,  would  escape  the  death  penalty, 
and  there  was  talk  of  lynching.  Stephen  C. 
Foster,  the  mayor,  promised  that  if  justice  was 
not  legally  meted  out  to  Brown  by  the  law.  then 
he  would  resign  his  office  and  head  the  lynching 
party.  January  10,  1855,  an  order  was  received 
from  Judge  Murray,  of  the  supreme  court,  stay- 
ing the  execution  of  Brown,  but  leaving  Alvitre 
to  his  fate.  January  12  Alvitre  was  hanged  by 
tlie  sheriff  in  the  jail  yard  in  the  presence  of  an 
immense  crowd.  The  gallows  were  taken  down 
and  the  guards  dismissed.    'Idle  crowd  gathered 


HISTORICAL   AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


189 


outside  the  jail  yard.  Speeches  were  made. 
The  mayor  resigned  his  office  and  headed  the 
mob.  The  doors  of  the  jail  were  broken  down; 
Brown  was  taken  across  Spring  street  to  a 
large  gateway  opening  into  a  corral  and  hanged 
from  the  crossbeam.  Foster  was  re-elected  by 
an  almost  unanimous  vote  at  a  special  election. 
The  city  marshal,  who  had  opposed  the  action 
of  the  vigilantes,  was  compelled  to  resign. 

During  1855  and  1856  lawlessness  increased. 
There  was  an  organized  band  of  about  one  hun- 
dred Mexicans,  who  patroled  the  highways, 
robbing  and  murdering.  They  threatened  the 
extermination  of  the  Americans  anil  there  were 
fears  of  a  race  war,  for  many  who  were  not 
members  of  the  gang  sympathized  with  them. 
In  1856  a  vigilance  committee  was  organized 
with  Myron  Norton  as  president  and  II.  N. 
Alexander  as  secretary.  A  number  of  dis- 
reputable characters  were  forced  to  leave  town. 
The  banditti,  under  their  leaders,  Pancho  Dan- 
iel and  Juan  Flores,  were  plundering  and  com- 
mitting outrages  in  the  neighborhood  of  San 
Juan  Capistrano. 

On  the  night  of  January  22,  1857,  Sheriff 
James  R.  Barton  left  Los  Angeles  with  a  posse, 
consisting  of  William  II.  Little,  Charles  K. 
Baker,  Charles  F.  Daley,  Alfred  Hardy  and 
Frank  Alexander  with  the  intention  of  captur- 
ing some  of  the  robbers.  At  Sepulveda's  ranch 
next  morning  the  sheriff's  party  was  warned  that 
the  robbers  were  some  fifty  strong,  well  armed 
and  mounted,  and  would  probably  attack  them. 
Twelve  miles  further  the  sheriff  and  his  men  en- 
countered a  detachment  of  the  banditti.  A 
short,  sharp  engagement  took  place.  Barton, 
Baker,  Little  and  Daley  were  killed.  Hard)  and 
Alexander  made  their  escape  by  the  fleetness 
of  their  horses.  When  the  news  reached  Los 
Angeles  the  excitement  became  intense.  A 
public  meeting  was  held  to  devise  plans  to  rid 
the  community  not  only  of  the  roving  gang  of 
murderers,  but  also  of  the  criminal  classes  in 
the  city,  who  were  known  to  be  in  sympathy 
with  the  banditti.  All  suspicious  houses  were 
searched  and  some  fifty  persons  arrested.  Sev- 
eral companies  were  organized;  the  infantry  to 
guard  the  city  and  the  mounted  men  to  scour 
the  country.     Companies  were  also  formed  at 


San  Bernardino  and  El  Monte,  while  the  mil- 
itary authorities  at  Fort  Tejon  and  San  Diego 
despatched  soldiers  to  aid  in  the  good  work  of 
exterminating  crime  and  criminals. 

The  robbers  were  pursued  into  the  mountains 
and  nearly  all  captured.  Gen.  Andres  Pico, 
with  a  company  of  native  Californians,  was  most 
efficient  in  the  pursuit.  He  captured  Silvas  and 
Ardillero,  two  of  the  most  noted  of  the  gang, 
and  hanged  them  where  they  were  cap- 
tured. Fifty-two  were  lodged  in  the  city  jail. 
Of  these,  eleven  were  hanged  for  various  crimes 
and  the  remainder  set  free.  Juan  Flores,  one 
of  the  leaders,  was  condemned  by  popular  vote 
and  on  February  14,  1857,  was  hanged  near  the 
top  of  Fort  Hill  in  the  presence  of  nearly  the 
entire  population  of  the  town.  He  was  only 
twenty-one  years  of  age.  Pancho  Daniel,  an- 
other of  the  leaders,  was  captured  on  the  loth 
of  January,  1858,  near  San  Jose.  He  was  found 
by  the  sheriff,  concealed  in  a  haystack.  After 
his  arrest  he  was  part  of  the  time  in  jail  and  part 
of  the  time  out  on  bail.  He  had  been  tried  three 
times,  but  through  law  quibbles  had  escaped 
conviction.  A  change  of  venue  to  Santa  Bar- 
bara had  been  granted.  The  people  determined 
to  take  the  law  in  their  own  hands.  On  the 
morning  of  November  30,  1858.  the  bod)  of 
Pancho  was  hanging  from  a  beam  across  the 
gateway  of  the  jail  yard.  Four  of  the  banditti 
were  executed  by  the  people  of  San  Gabriel, 
and  Leonardo  Lopez,  under  sentence  of  the 
court,  was  hanged  by  the  sheriff.  The  gang  was 
broken  up  and  the  moral  atmosphere  of  Los 
Angeles  somewhat  purified. 

November  17,  1862,  John  Rains  of  Cuca- 
monga  ranch  was  murdered  near  Azusa.  De- 
cember 0.  1803,  the  sheriff  was  taking  Manuel 
Cerradel  to  San  Quentin  to  serve  a  ten  years' 
sentence.  When  the  sheriff  went  aboard  the  tug 
boat  Cricket  at  Wilmington,  to  proceed  to  the 
Senator,  quite  a  number  of  other  persons  took 
passage.  On  the  way  down  the  harbor,  the 
prisoner  was  seized  by  the  passengers,  who 
were  vigilantes,  and  hanged  to  the  rigging;  after 
hanging  twenty  minute-  the  body  was  taken 
down,  stones  tied  to  the  feet  and  it  was  thrown 
overboard.  Cerradel  was  implicated  in  the  mur- 
der of  Rains. 


HISTORICAL  AXD    BIOGRAPHICA1     RECORD. 


In  the  fall  of  1863  lawlessness  had  again  be- 
come rampant  in  Los  Angeles;  one  of  the  chiefs 
of  the  criminal  class  was  a  desperado  by  the 
name  of  Boston  Daimwood.  He  was  suspected 
of  the  murder  of  a  miner  on  the  desert 
and  was  loud  in  his  threats  against  the  lives 
of  various  citizens.  He  and  four  other  well- 
known  criminals,  Wood,  Chase,  Ybarra  and 
Olivas,  all  of  whom  were  either  murder- 
ers or  horse  thieves,  were  lodged  in  jail.  On 
the  21st  of  November  two  hundred  armed 
citizens  battered  down  the  doors  of  the  jail, 
took  the  five  wretches  out  and  hanged  them  to 
the  portico  of  the  old  court  house  on  Spring 
street,  which  stood  on  the  present  site  of  the 
Phillips  block. 

On  the  24th  of  October,  1871.  occurred  in 
Los  Angeles  a  most  disgraceful  affair,  known 
as  the  Chinese  massacre.  It  grew  out  of  one 
of  those  interminable  feuds  between  rival 
tongs  of  highbinders,  over  a  woman.  Desul- 
tory firing  had  been  kept  up  between  the  rival 
factions  throughout  the  day.  About  5:30  p.  m. 
Policeman  Bilderrain  visited  the  seat  of  war,  an 
old  adobe  house  on  the  corner  of  Arcadia  street 
and  "Nigger  alley,"  known  as  the  Coronel  build- 
ing. Finding  himself  unable  to  quell  the  dis- 
turbance he  called  for  help.  Robert  Thompson, 
an  old  resident  of  the  city,  was  among  the  first 
to  reach  the  porch  of  the  house  in  answer  to  the 
police  call  for  help.  He  received  a  mortal  wound 
from  a  bullet  fired  through  the  door  of  a  Chi- 
nese store.  He  died  an  hour  later  in  Woll- 
drug  store.  The  Chinese  in  the  mean- 
time barricaded  the  doors  and  windows  of  the 
old  adobe  and  prepared  for  battle.  The  news 
of  the  fight  and  of  the  killing  of  Thompson 
spread  throughout  the  city  and  an  immense 
crowd  gathered  in  the  streets  around  the  build- 
ing with  the  intention  of  wreaking  vengeance  on 
the  ( Chinese. 

The  first  attempt  by  the  mob  to  dislodge  the 
Chinamen  was  by  cutting  holes  through  the  flat 
brea  covered  roof  and  firing  pistol  shots  into  the 
interior  .if  the  building.  <  hie  of  tin-  besieged 
crawled  out  of  the  building  and  attempted  to 
escape,   but    was   shot    down    before   half   way 

'  h  '.'I.,  all.  v.      \in  ither  attempted  to  e 
cape   into   l.o.   Angeles   street;   In-   was   seized, 


dragged  to  the  gate  of  Tomlinson's  corral  on 
Xew  High  street,  and  hanged. 

About  9  o'clock  a  part  of  the  mob  had  suc- 
ceeded in  battering  a  hole  in  the  eastern  end  of 
the  building;  through  this  the  rioters,  with 
demoniac  howlings,  rushed  in,  firing  pistols  to 
the  right  and  left.  Huddled  in  corners  and  hid- 
den behind  boxes  they  found  eight  terror- 
stricken  Chinamen,  who  begged  piteously  for 
their  lives.  These  were  brutally  dragged  out 
ami  turned  over  to  the  fiendish  mob.  One  was 
dragged  to  death  by  a  rope  around  his  neck ; 
three,  more  dead  than  alive  from  kicking  and 
beating,  were  hanged  to  a  wagon  on  Los  An- 
geles street;  and  four  were  hanged  to  the  gate- 
way of  Tomlinson's  corral.  Two  of  the  victims 
were  mere  boys.  While  the  shootings  and  hang- 
ings were  going  on  thieves  were  looting  the 
other  houses  in  the  Chinese  quarters.  The 
houses  were  broken  into,  trunks,  boxes  and 
other  receptacles  rifled  of  their  contents,  and 
any  Chinamen  found  in  the  buildings  were 
dragged  forth  to  slaughter.  Among  the  vic- 
tims was  a  doctor,  Gene  Tung,  a  quiet,  inof- 
fensive old  man.  He  pleaded  for  his  life  in  good 
English,  offering  his  captors  all  his  money, 
some  $2,000  to  $3,000.  He  was  hanged,  his 
money  stolen  and  one  of  his  fingers  cut  off  to 
obtain  a  ring  he  wore.  The  amount  of  money 
stolen  by  the  mob  from  the  Chinese  quarters 
was  variously  estimated  at  from  $40,000  to 
$50,000. 

About  9:30  p.  m.  the  law  abiding  citizens, 
under  the  leadership  of  Henry  Hazard,  R.  M. 
Widney,  H.  C.  Austin,  Sheriff  Burns  and  oth- 
ers, had  rallied  in  sufficient  force  to  make  an 
attempt  to  quell  the  mob.  Proceeding  to  China- 
town they  rescued  several  Chinamen  from  the 
rioters.  The  mob  finding  armed  opposition 
quickly  dispersed. 

The  results  of  the  mob's  murderous  work 
were  ten  men  hanged  on  Los  Angeles  street, 
some  to  wagons  and  some  to  awnings:  five 
hanged,  ai  Tomlinson's  corral  and  four  shot  to 
death  in  Negro  alley,  nineteen  in  all.  Of  all  the 
Chinamen  murdered,  the  only  one  known  to  be 
implicated  in  the  highbinder  war  was  Ah  Choy. 
All  the  other  leaders  escaped  to  the  country 
before  the  attack  was   made  by  the  mob.     The 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


I!)] 


grand  jury,  after  weeks  of  investigation,  found 
indictments  against  one  hundred  and  fifty  per- 
sons alleged  to  have  been  actively  engaged  in 
the  massacre.  The  jury's  report  severely  cen- 
sured "the  officers  of  this  county,  as  well  as  of 
this  city,  whose  duty  it  is  to  preserve  peace," 
and  declared  that  they  "were  deplorably  ineffi- 
cient in  the  performance  of  their  duty  during 
the  scenes  of  confusion  and  bloodshed  which 
disgraced  our  city,  and  has  cast  a  reproach  upon 
the  people  of  Los  Angeles  county."  Of  all  those 
indicted  but  six  were  convicted.  These  were 
sentenced  to  from  four  to  six  years  in  the  state's 
prison,  but  through  some  legal  technicality  they 
were  all  released  after  serving  a  part  of  their 
sentence.  • 

The  last  execution  in  Los  Angeles  by  a  vig- 
ilance committee  was  that  of  Michael  Lachenias, 
a  French  desperado,  who  had  killed  five  or  six 
men.  The  offense  for  which  he  was  hanged  was 
the  murder  of  Jacob  Bell,  a  little  inoffensive 
man,  who  owned  a  small  farm  near  that  of 
Lachenias,  south  of  the  city.  There  hail  been 
a  slight  difference  between  them  in  regard  to 
the  use  of  water  from  a  zanja.  Lachenias,  with- 
out a  word  of  warning,  rode  up  to  Bell,  where 
he  was  at  work  in  his  field,  drew  a  revolver  and 
shot  him  dead.  The  murderer  then  rode  into 
town  and  boastingly  informed  the  people  of 
what  he  had  done  and  told  them  where  they 
would  find  Bell's  body.  He  then  surrendered 
himself  to  the  officers  and  was  locked  up  in 
jail. 

Public  indignation  was  aroused.  A  meeting 
was  held  in  Stearns'  hall  on  Los  Angeles  street. 
A  vigilance  committee  was  formed  and  the  de- 
tails of  the  execution  planned.  On  the  morning 
of  the  17th  of  December,  1870,  a  body  of  three 
hundred  armed  men  marched  to  the  jail,  took 
Lachenias  out  and  proceeded  with  him  to  Tom- 
linson's  corral  on  Temple  and  New  High  streets. 
and  hanged  him.  The  crowd  then  quietly  dis- 
persed. 

A  strange  metamorphosis  took  place  in  the 
character  of  the  lower  classes  of  the  native  Cal- 
ifornians  after  the  conquest.  (The  better  classes 
were  not  changed  in  character  by  the  changed 
conditions  of  the  country,  but  throughout  were 
true  gentlemen  and  most  worth)  and  honorable 


citizens.)  Before  the  conquest  by  the  Ameri- 
cans they  were  a  peaceful  and  contented  people. 
1  here  were  no  organized  bands  of  outlaws 
among  them.  After  the  discovery  of  gold  the 
evolution  of  a  banditti  began  and  they  produced 
some  of  the  boldest  robbers  and  most  daring 
highwaymen  the  world  has  seen. 

The  injustice  of  their  conquerors  had  much  to 
do  with  producing  this  change.  The  Ameri- 
cans not  only  took  possession  of  their  country 
and  its  government,  but  in  many  cases  they  de- 
spoiled them  of  their  ancestral  acres  and  their 
personal  property.  Injustice  rankles;  and  it  is 
not  strange  that  the  more  lawless  among  the 
native  population  sought  revenge  and  retalia- 
tion. They  were  often  treated  by  the  rougher 
American  element  as  aliens  and  intruders,  who 
had  no  right  in  the  land  of  their  birth.  Such 
treatment  embittered  them  more  than  loss  of 
property.  There  were  those,  howevtr,  among 
the  natives,  who,  once  entered  upon  a  career 
of  crime,  found  robbery  and  murder  congenial 
occupations.  The  plea  of  injustice  was  no  ex- 
tenuation  for  their  crimes. 

Joaquin  Murieta  was  the  most  noted  of  the 
.Mexican  and  Californian  desperadoes  of  the 
early  '50s.  He  was  born  in  Sonora  of  good  fam- 
ily and  received  some  education.  He  came  to 
California  with  the  Sonoran  migration  of  1849, 
and  secured  a  rich  claim  on  the  Stanislaus.  He 
was  dispossessed  of  this  by  half  a  dozen  Amer- 
ican desperadoes,  his  wife  abused  and  both 
driven  from  the  diggings.  He  next  took  up  a 
ranch  on  the  Calaveras,  but  from  this  he  was 
driven  by  two  Americans.  He  next  tried  min- 
ing in  the  Murphy  diggings,  but  was  unsuccess- 
ful. His  next  occupation  was  that  of  a  monte 
player.  While  riding  into  town  on  a  horse  bor- 
rowed from  his  half-brother  he  was  stopped  by 
an  American,  who  claimed  that  the  horse  was 
stolen  from  him.  Joaquin  protested  that  the 
horse  was  a  borrowed  one  from  his  half-brother 
and  offered  to  procure  witnesses  to  prove  it. 
lie  was  dragged  from  the  saddle  amid  cries  of 
"hang  the  greaser."  He  was  taken  to  the  ranch 
.if  hi-  In-other.  The  brother  was  hanged  to  the 
limb  of  a  tree,  11. >  other  proof  of  his  crime  being 
needed  than  the  assertion  of  the  American  that 
the  horse  was  hi-.    Joaquin  was  stripped,  bound 


l'.l-J 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


to  the  same  tree  and  flogged.  The  demon  was 
aroused  within  him,  and  no  wonder,  he  vowed 
revenge  on  the  men  who  had  murdered  his 
brother  and  beaten  him.  Faithfully  he  carried 
out  his  vow  of  vengeance.  Had  he  doomed 
only  these  to  slaughter  it  would  have  been  but 
little  loss,  but  the  implacable  foe  of  every 
American,  he  made  the  innocent  suffer  with  the 
guilty.  He  was  soon  at  the  head  of  a  band  of 
desperadoes,  varying  in  numbers  from  twenty  to 
forty.  For  three  years  he  and  his  band  were  the 
terror  of  the  state.  From  the  northern  mines 
to  the  Mexican  border  they  committed  robberies 
and  murders.  Claudio  and  some  of  his  sub- 
ordinates were  killed,  but  the  robber  chief 
seemed  to  bear  a  charmed  life.  Large  rewards 
were  offered  for  him  dead  or  alive  and  numerous 
attempts  were  made  to  take  him.  Capt.  Harry 
Love  at  the  head  of  a  band  of  rangers  August, 
1853,  car*  upon  Joaquin  and  six  of  his  gang 
in  a  camp  near  the  Tejon  Pass.  In  the  fight  that 
ensued  Joaquin  and  Three  Fingered  Jack  were 
killed.  With  the  loss  of  their  leaders  the  or- 
ganization was  broken  up. 

The  last  organized  band  of  robbers  which 
terrorized  the  southern  part  of  the  state  was 
that  of  Vasquez.  Tiburcio  Vasquez  was  born 
in  Monterey  county,  of  .Mexican  parents,  in 
1837.  Early  in  life  he  began  a  career  of  crime. 
Alter  committing  a  number  of  robberies  and 
thefts  he  was  captured  and  sent  to  San  Quentin 
for  horse  stealing.  He  was  discharged  in  1863, 
but  continued  his  disreputable  career.  He 
united  with  Procopio  and  Soto,  two  noted  ban- 
dits. Soto  was  killed  by  Sheriff  Morse  of  Ala- 
meda county  in  a  desperate  encounter.  Vasquez 
and  his  gang  of  nut  laws  committed  robberies 
throughout  the  southern  part  of  the  state,  rang- 
ing from  Santa  Clara  and  Alameda  counties  to 
Lh:  Mexitan  line,  l.arlv  in  M  tv  1874,  Sheriff 
William  Rowland  of  Los  Angeles  county,  who 
had  repeate<ll\  tried  to  capture  Vasquez,  but 
whose    plans    had    been    foiled    by    the    bandit's 


spies,  learned  that  the  robber  chief  was  mak- 
ing his  headquarters  at  the  house  of  Greek 
George,  about  ten  miles  due  west  of  Los  An- 
geles, toward  Santa  Monica,  in  a  canon  of  the 
Cahuenga  mountains.  The  morning  of  May  15 
was  set  for  the  attack.  To  avert  suspicion 
Sheriff  Rowland  remained  in  the  city.  The  at- 
tacking force,  eight  in  number,  were  under 
command  of  Under-Sheriff  Albert  Johnson,  the 
other  members  of  the  force  were  Major  H.  M. 
Mitchell,  attorney-at-law;  J.  S.  Bryant,  city  con- 
stable; F.  Harris,  policeman;  W.  E.  Rogers, 
citizen;  B.  F.  Hartley,  chief  of  police;  and  D. 
K.  Smith,  citizen,  all  of  Los  Angeles,  and  a  Mr. 
r>eers,  of  San  Francisco,  special  correspondent 
of  the  San  Francisco  Chronicle. 

At  4  a.  m.  on  the  morning  of  the  15th  of  May 
the  posse  reached  Major -Mitchell's  bee  ranch 
in  a  small  canon  not  far  from  Greek  George's. 
From  this  point  the  party  reconnoitered  the 
bandit's  hiding  place  and  planned  an  attack.  As 
the  deputy  sheriff  and  his  men  were  about  to 
move  against  the  house  a  high  box  wagon  drove 
up  the  canon  from  the  direction  of  Greek 
George's  place.  In  this  were  two  natives;  the 
sheriff's  party  climbed  into  the  high  wagon  box 
and,  lying  down,  compelled  the  driver  to  drive 
up  to  the  back  of  Greek  George's  house, 
threatening  him  and  his  companion  with  death 
on  the  least  sign  of  treachery.  Reaching  the 
house  they  surrounded  it  and  burst  in  the  door. 
Vasquez,  who  had  been  eating  his  breakfast,  at- 
tempted to  escape  through  a  small  window. 
The  party  opened  fire  on  him.  Being  wounded 
and  finding  himself  surrounded  on  all  sides,  he 
surrendered.  He  was  taken  to  the  Los  Angeles 
jail.  His  injuries  proved  to  be  mere  flesh 
wounds.  He  received  a  great  deal  of  maudlin 
sympathy  from  silly  women,  who  magnified  him 
into  a  hero.  He  was  taken  to  San  Jose,  tried 
for  murder,  found  guilty  and  hanged,  March  19, 
1875.  His  band  was  thereupon  broken  up  and 
dispersed. 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


CHAPTER   XXVIII. 

FILIBUSTERS    AND    FILIBUSTERING. 


THE  rash  of  immigration  to  California  in 
the  early  '50s  had  brought  to  the  state 
a  class  of  adventurers  who  were  too 
lazy  or  too  proud  to  work.  They  were  ready 
to  engage  in  almost  any  lawdess  undertaking 
that  promised  plunder  and  adventure.  The  de- 
feat of  the  pro-slavery  politicians  in  their  at- 
tempts to  fasten  their  "peculiar  institution"  upon 
any  part  of  the  territory  acquired  from  Mex- 
ico had  embittered  them.  The  more  un- 
scrupulous among  them  began  to  look  around 
for  new  fields,  over  which  slavery  might  be  ex- 
tended. As  it  could  be  made  profitable  only  in 
southern  lands,  Cuba,  Mexico  and  Central 
America  became  the  arenas  for  enacting  that 
form  of  piracy  called  "filibustering."  The  object 
of  these  forays,  when  organized  by  Americans. 
was  to  seize  upon  territory  as  had  been  done 
in  Texas  and  erect  it  into  an  independent  gov- 
ernment that  ultimately  would  be  annexed  to 
the  United  States  and  become  slave  territory. 
Although  the  armed  invasion  of  countries  with 
which  the  United  States  was  at  peace  was  a  di- 
rect violation  of  its  neutrality  laws,  yet  the  fed- 
eral office-holders  in  the  southern  states  and  in 
California,  all  of  whom  belonged  to  the  pro- 
slavery  faction,  not  only  made  no  attempt  to 
prevent  these  invasions,  but  secretly  aided  them 
or  at  least  sympathized  with  them  to  the  extent 
of  allowing  them  to  recruit  men  and  depart 
without  molestation.  There  was  a  glamour  of 
romance  about  these  expeditions  that  influenced 
unthinking  young  men  of  no  fixed  principles 
to  join  them;  these  were  to  be  pitied.  But  the 
leaders  of  them  and  their  abettors  were  cold, 
selfish,  scheming  politicians,  willing,  if  need  be, 
to  overthrow  the  government  of  the  nation  and 
build  on  its  ruins  an  oligarchy  of  slave  holders. 
The  first  to  organize  a  filibuster  expedition  in 
California  was  a  Frenchman.  Race  prejudices 
were  strong  in  early  mining  days.    The  United 


States  had  recently  been  at  war  with  Mexico. 
The  easy  conquest  of  that  country  had  bred  a 
contempt  for  its  peoples.  The  Sonoran  migra- 
tion, that  begun  soon  after  the  discovery  of 
gold  in  California,  brought  a  very  undesirable 
class  of  immigrants  to  the  state.  Sailing  vessels 
had  brought  from  the  west  coast  of  South 
America  another  despised  class  of  mongrel 
Spanish.  It  exasperated  the  Americans  to  see 
these  people  digging  gold  and  carrying  it  out 
of  the  country.  This  antagonism  extended,  more 
or  less,  to  all  foreigners,  but  was  strongest 
against  men  of  the  Latin  races.  Many  French- 
men, through  emigration  schemes  gotten  up 
in  Paris,  had  been  induced  to  come  to  Califor- 
nia. Some  of  these  were  men  of  education  and 
good  standing,  but  they  fell  under  the  ban  of 
prejudices  and  by  petty  persecutions  were 
driven  out  of  the  mines  and  forced  to  earn  a 
precarious  living  in  the  cities.  There  was  a 
great  deal  of  dissatisfaction  among  the  French- 
men with  existing  conditions  in  California,  and 
they  were  ready  to  embark  in  any  scheme  that 
promised  greater  rewards.  Among  the  French 
population  of  San  Francisco  was  a  man  of  noble 
family,  Count  Gaston  Roaul  de  Raousset-Boul- 
bon.  He  had  lost  his  ancestral  lands  and  was 
in  reduced  circumstances.  He  was  a  man  of 
education  and  ability,  but  visionary.  He  con- 
ceived the  idea  of  establishing  a  French  colony 
on  the  Sonora  bonier  and  opening  the  mines 
that  had  been  abandoned  on  account  of  Apache 
depredations.  By  colonizing  the  border  he 
hoped  to  put  a  M<>p  t<>  American  encroachi 
He  divulged  his  scheme  to  the  French  consul, 
Dillon,  at  San  Francisco,  who  entered  heartily 
into  it.  Raoussel  was  sent  to  the  City  of  Mex- 
ico, where  he  obtained  from  President  Arista 
the  desired  concession  of  land  and  the  promise 
of  financial  assistance  from  a  leading  hanking 
house   there   on    condition    that    he   proceed    at 


Mil 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL    RECORD. 


once  to  Sonora  with  an  armed  company  of 
Frenchmen.  Returning  to  San  Francisco  he 
quickly  recruited  from  among  the  French  resi- 
dents two  hundred  and  fifty  men  and  with  these 
he  sailed  for  Guaymas,  where  he  arrived  early 
in  June,  1852.  He  was  well  received  at  first, 
but  soon  found  himself  regarded  with  suspicion. 
He  was  required  by  the  authorities  to  remain 
at  Guaymas.  After  a  month's  detention  he  was 
allowed  to  proceed  through  Hermosilla  to  the 
Arizona  border. 

When  about  one  hundred  miles  from  Arispe 
he  received  an  order  from  General  Blanco,  then 
at  Hermosilla,  to  report  to  him.  While  halting 
at  El  Caric  to  consider  his  next  move  he  re- 
ceived a  reinforcement  of  about  eighty  French 
colonists,  who  had  come  to  the  country  the  year 
before  under  command  of  Pindray.  Pindray 
had  met  his  death  in  a  mysterious  manner.  B 
was  supposed  that  he  was  poisoned.  The  colon- 
ist had  remained  in  the  country.  Raousset  sent 
one  of  his  men.  Gamier,  to  interview  Blanco. 
General  Blanco  gave  his  ultimatum — First,  that 
the  Frenchmen  should  become  naturalized  citi- 
zens of  Mexico;  or,  secondly,  they  should  wait 
until  letters  of  security  could  be  procured  from 
the  capital,  when  they  might  proceed  to  Arizona 
and  take  possession  of  any  mines  they  found; 
or,  lastly,  they  might  put  themselves  under  the 
leadership  of  a  Mexican  officer  and  then  proceed. 
Raousset  and  his  followers  refused  to  accede  to 
an\  of  these  propositions.  Blanco  began  col- 
lecting men  and  munitions  of  war  to  oppose  the 
French.  Raousset  raised  the  flag  of  revolt  and 
invited  the  inhabitants  to  join  him  in  gaining 
the  independence  of  Sonora.  After  drilling  his 
men  a  few  weeks  and  preparing  for  hostilities 
he  began  his  march  against  Hermosilla,  distant 
one  hundred  and  fifty  miles.  He  met  with  no 
ion,  the  people  along  his  route  welcom- 
ing the  French.  General  Blanco  had  twelve 
hundred  men  to  defend  the  city.  I'm  instead  of 
preparing  to  resist  the  advancing  army  he  sent 
delegates  t"  Raousset  to  offer  him  monej 
the  city  alone.  Raousset  sent  back  word  thai 
at  X  o'clock  he  would  begin  the  attack;  and  at 
11  would  be  master  of  the  city,  lie  was, 
as  his  word.  The  Frenchmen  charged  the  Mex 
irans  and   although    the   opposing   force   num 


bered  four  to  one  of  the  assailants,  Raousset's 
men  captured  the  town  and  drove  Blanco's 
troops  out  of  it.  The  Mexican  loss  was  two 
hundred  killed  and  wounded.  The  French  loss 
seventeen  killed  and  twenty-three  wounded 
Raousset's  men  were  mere  adventurers  and  were 
in  the  country  without  any  definite  purpose. 
Could  he  have  relied  on  them,  he  might  have 
captured  all  of  Sonora. 

He  abandoned  Hermosilla.  Blanco,  glad  to 
get  rid  of  the  filibusters  on  any  terms,  raised 
$11,000  and  chartered  a  vessel  to  carry  them 
back  to  San  Francisco.  A  few  elected  to  re- 
main. Raousset  went  to  Mazatlan  and  a  few 
months  later  he  reached  San  Francisco,  where 
he  was  lionized  as  a  hero.  Upon  an  invitation 
from  Santa  Ana,  wdio  had  succeeded  Arista  as 
president,  he  again  visited  the  Mexican  capital 
in  June,  1853.  Santa  Ana  was  profuse  in  prom- 
ises. He  wanted  Raousset  to  recruit  five  hun- 
dred Frenchmen  to  protect  the  Sonora  frontier 
against  the  Indians,  promising  ample  remunera- 
tion and  good  pay  for  their  services.  Raousset, 
finding  that  Santa  Ana's  promises  could  not  be 
relied  upon,  and  that  the  wiley  schemer  was 
about  to  have  him  arrested,  made  his  escape  to 
Acapulco,  riding  several  horses  to  death  to 
reach  there  ahead  of  his  pursuers.  He  embarked 
immediately  for  San  Francisco. 

In  the  meantime  another  filibuster,  William 
Walker,  with  forty-one  followers  had  landed  at 
La  Paz  November  3,  1853,  and  proclaimed  a 
new  nation,  the  Republic  of  Lower  California. 
Santa  Ana,  frightened  by  this  new  invasion,  be- 
gan making  overtures  through  the  Mexican  con- 
sul, Luis  del  Valle,  at  San  Francisco  to  secure 
French  recruits  for  military  service  on  the  Mex- 
ican frontier.  Del  Yalle  applied  to  the  French 
consul,  Dilh  mi.  and  Dillon  applied  to  Raousset. 
Raousset  soon  secured  eight  hundred  recruits 
and  chartered  the  British  ship  Challenge  to  take 
them  to  Guaymas.  Then  the  pro-slavery  federal 
officials  at  San  Francisco  were  aroused  to  ac- 
tion. The  neutrality  laws  were  being  violated. 
It  was  not  that  they  cared  for  the  laws,  but  they 
feared  that  this  new  filibustering  scheme  might 
interfere  with  their  pet,  Walker,  who  had,  in  ad- 
dition to  tlie  Republic  of  Lower  California, 
founded  another  nation,  the  Republic  of  Sonora, 


HISTORICAL   AXD   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


in  both  of  which  he  had  decreed  slavery.  The 
ship  was  seized,  but  after  a  short  detention  was 
allowed  to  sail  with  three  hundred  French- 
men. 

Del  Yalle  was  vigorously  prosecuted  by  the 
federal  authorities  for  violation  of  a  section  of 
the  neutrality  laws,  which  forbade  the  enlistment 
within  the  United  States  of  soldiers  to  serve  un- 
der a  foreign  power.  Dillon,  the  French  con- 
sul, was  implicated  and  on  his  refusal  to  testify 
in  court  he  was  arrested.  He  fell  back  on  his 
dignity  and  asserted  that  his  nation  had  been  in- 
sulted through  him  and  closed  his  consulate. 
For  a  time  there  were  fears  of  international 
trouble. 

Del  Yalle  was  found  guilty  of  violating  the 
•  neutrality  laws,  but  was  never  punished.  The 
pro-slavery  pet,  Walker,  and  his  gang  were 
driven  out  of  Mexico  and  the  federal  officials 
had  no  more  interest  in  enforcing  neutrality 
laws.  Meanwhile  Raousset,  after  great  diffi- 
culties, had  joined  the  three  hundred  French- 
men at  Guaymas.  A  strip  of  northern  Sonora 
had  been  sold  under  what  is  known  as  the  Gads- 
den purchase  to  the  United  States.  There  was 
no  longer  any  opportunity  to  secure  mines  there 
from  Mexico,  but  Raousset  thought  he  could 
erect  a  barrier  to  any  further  encroachments  of 
the  United  States  and  eventually  secure  Mexico 
for  France.  His  first  orders  on  reaching  Guay- 
mas to  the  commander  of  the  French,  Desmaris, 
was  to  attack  the  Mexican  troops  and  capture 
the  city.  His  order  did  not  reach  Desmaris.  Flis 
messenger  was  arrested  and  the  Mexican  au- 
thorities begun  collecting  forces  to  oppose 
Raousset.  Having  failed  to  receive  reinforce- 
ments, and  his  condition  becoming  unendurable, 
he  made  an  attack  on  the  Mexican  forces,  twelve 
hundred  strong.  After  a  brave  assault  he  was 
defeated.  He  surrendered  to  the  French  consul 
on  the  assurance  that  his  life  and  that  of  his 
men  would  be  spared.  He  was  treacherously 
surrendered  by  the  French  consul  to  the  Mex- 
ican general.  He  was  tried  by  a  court-martial, 
found  guilty  and  sentenced  to  be  shot.  On  ilk- 
morning  of  August  12,  1854,  he  was  executed. 
His  misguided  followers  were  shipped  bad  to 
San  Francisco.  So  ended  the  first  California 
filibuster. 


The  first  American  born  filibuster  who  or- 
ganized one  of  these  piratical  expeditions  was 
William  Walker,  a  native  of  Tennessee.  He 
came  to  California  with  the  rush  of  1850.  He 
had  started  out  in  life  to  be  a  doctor,  had  studied 
law  and  finally  drifted  into  journalism.  He  be- 
longed to  the  extreme  pro-slavery  faction.  He 
located  in  San  PTancisco  and  found  employment 
on  the  Herald.  Mis  bitter  invective  against  the 
courts  for  their  laxity  in  punishing  crime  raised 
the  ire  of  Judge  Levi  Parsons,  win,  fined  Walker 
$500  for  contempt  of  court  and  ordered  him 
imprisoned  until  the  fine  was  paid.  Walker  re- 
fused to  pay  the  fine  and  went  to  jail.  He  at 
once  bounded  into  notoriety.  He  was  a  mar- 
tyr to  the  freedom  of  the  press.  A  public  in- 
dignation meeting  was  called.  An  immense 
crowd  of  sympathizers  called  on  Walker  in  jail. 
A  writ  of  habeas  corpus  was  sued  out  and  he 
was  released  from  jail  and  discharged.  In  the 
legislature  of  1852  he  tried  to  have  Parson  im- 
peached, but  failed.  He  next  opened  a  law  of- 
fice in  Marysville. 

The  success  of  Raousset-Boulbon  in  his  first 
expedition  to  Sonora  had  aroused  the  ambition 
of  Walker  to  become  the  founder  of  a  new  gov- 
ernment. Flis  first  efforts  were  directed  towards 
procuring  from  Mexico  a  grant  on  the  Sonora 
border;  this  was  to  be  colonized  with  Americans, 
who  would  protect  the  Mexican  frontier  from 
Apache  incursion.  This  was  a  mere  subterfuge 
and  the  Mexican  authorities  were  not  deceived 
by  it — he  got  no  grant.  To  forestall  Raousset- 
Boulbon,  who  was  again  in  the  field  with  his 
revolutionary  scheme.  Walker  opened  a  recruit- 
ing office.  Each  man  was  to  receive  a  square 
league  of  land  and  plunder  galore.  The  bait 
took,  meetings  were  held,  scrip  sold  and  re- 
cruits flocked  to  Walker.  The  brig  Arrow  was 
chartered  to  carry  the  liberators  to  their  des- 
tination. The  pro-slaver)  officials,  who  held  all 
the  offices,  winked  at  this  violation  of  the  neu- 
trality laws.  There  was  but  one  man.  General 
Hitchcock,  who  dared  to  lo  his  duty,  lie  seized 
the  vessel;  it  was  released,  and  Hitchcock  re- 
moved from  command.  Jefferson 
secretary  of  war  and  Hitchcock  was  made  to  feel 
his  wrath  for  interfering  with  one  of  Davis'  pet 
projects,    the    extension    of    slavery.     Walker 


196 


HISTORICAL   AXD    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


sailed  in  another  vessel,  the  Caroline,  taking 
with  him  forty-one  of  his  followers,  well  armed 
with  rifles  and  revolvers  to  develop  the  re- 
sources of  the  country. 

The  vessel  with  Walker  and  his  gang  sneaked 
into  La  Paz  under  cover  of  a  Mexican  flag.  He 
seized  the  unsuspecting  governor  and  other  offi- 
cials and  then  proclaimed  the  Republic  of  Lower 
California.  He  appointed  from  his  following  a 
number  of  officials  with  high  sounding  titles. 
He  adopted  the  code  of  Louisiana  as  the  law  of 
the  land.  This,  as  far  as  he  was  able,  introduce.  1 
into  the  country  human  slavery,  which  indeed 
was  about  the  sole  purpose  of  his  filibuster- 
ing schemes.  Fearing  that  the  Mexican  gov- 
ernment might  send  an  expedition  across  the 
gulf  to  stop  his  marauding,  he  slipped  out  of 
the  harbor  and  sailed  up  to  Todas  Santos,  so  as 
to  be  near  the  United  States  in  case  the  Mexican 
government  should  make  it  uncomfortable  for 
him.  With  this  as  headquarters  he  began  prepa- 
rations for  an  invasion  of  Sonora.  His  delectable 
followers  appropriated  to  their  own  use  what- 
ever they  could  find  in  the  poverty-stricken 
country.  The  news  of  the  great  victory  at  La 
Paz  reached  San  Francisco  and  created  great 
enthusiasm  among  Walker's  sympathizers.  His 
vice-president,  Watkins,  enrolled  three  hundred 
recruits  and  sent  them  to  him,  "greatly  to  the 
relief  of  the  criminal  calendar." 

Walker  began  to  drill  his  recruits  for  the  con- 
quest of  Sonora.     These  patriots,  who  had  ral- 
lied to  the  support   of  the  new  republic,  under 
the  promise  of  rich  churches  to  pillage  and  well- 
d  ranches  to  plunder,  did  not  take  kindly 
to  a  diet  of  jerked  beef  and  beans  and  hard  drill- 
ing under  a  torrid   sun.      Some  rebelled  and  it 
became   necessar)    for   Walker  to  use  the  lash 
and  even  to  shout  two  ,ii  them  for  the  good  of 
the  cause.     The  natives  rebelled  when  they  found 
their  cattle  and  Frijoles  disappearing  and  the  so- 
, ailed   battle   of    1  .a   Gualla    was    [ought   between 
the  native  s  and  a  detachment  of  Walker's  forag- 
if  whom  were  killed.     The  news  of 
this  battle  reached  San  Francisco  and  was  mag- 
nified   into   a   great    victory.      The    new   republic 
bi  en  baptized  in  the  blood  of  its  martyrs. 
After  three  months  spent   in  drilling,  Walker 
began  his  march  to  Sonora  with  but  one  hun- 


dred men,  and  a  small  herd  of  cattle  for  food. 
Most  of  the  others  had  deserted.  In  his  jour- 
ney across  the  desert  the  Indians  stole  some  of 
his  cattle  and  more  of  his  men  deserted.  On 
reaching  the  Colorado  river  about  half  of  his 
force  abandoned  the  expedition  and  marched 
to  Fort  Yuma,  where  Major  Heintzelman  re- 
lieved their  necessities.  Walker  with  thirty-five 
men  had  started  back  for  Santa  Tomas.  They 
brought  up  at  Tia  Juana,  where  they  crossed 
the  American  line,  surrendered  and  gave  their 
paroles  to  Major  McKinstry  of  the  United 
States  army.  When  Walker  and  his  Falstaffian 
army  reached  San  Francisco  they  were  lionized 
,i-  heroes.  All  they  had  done  was  to  kill  a  few 
inoffensive  natives  on  the  peninsula  and  steal 
their  cattle.  Their  valiant  leader  had  proclaimed 
two  republics  and  decreed  (on  paper)  that  slav- 
ery should  prevail  in  them.  He  had  had  sev- 
eral of  his  dupes  whipped  and  two  of  them  shot, 
which  was  probably  the  most  commendable 
thing  he  had  done.  His  proclamations  were 
ridiculous  and  his  officers  with  their  high  sound- 
ing titles  had  returned  from  their  burlesque  con- 
quest with  scarcely  rags  enough  on  them  to 
cover  their  nakedness.  Yet,  despite  all  this, 
the  attempt  to  enlarge  the  area  of  slave  territory 
covered  him  with  glory  and  his  rooms  were  the 
resort  of  all  the  pro-slavery  officials  of  Califor- 
nia. 

The  federal  officials  made  a  show  of  prosecut- 
ing the  filibusters.  Watkins,  the  vice-president 
of  the  Republic  of  Lower  California  and  So- 
nora, was  put  on  trial  in  the  United  States  dis- 
trict court.  The  evidence  was  so  plain  and  the 
proof  so  convincing  that  the  judge  was  com- 
pelled to  convict  against  his  will.  This  delightful 
specimen  of  a  pro-slavery  justice  expressed 
from  the  bench  his  sympathy  for  "those  spirited 
men  who  had  gone  forth  to  upbuild  the  broken 
altars  and  rekindle  tlie  extinguished  fires  of  lib- 
erty in  Mexico  and  Lower  California."  With 
such  men  to  enforce  the  laws,  it  was  not  strange 
that  vigilance  committees  were  needed  in  Cal- 
ifornia. Watkins  and  Emory,  the  so-called  sec- 
retary of  state,  were  fined  each  $1,500.  The 
tines  were  never  paid  and  no  effort  was  ever 
made  to  compel  their  payment.  The  secretary 
of  war  and  the  secretary  of  the  navy  were   [nit 


HISTORICAL    AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


191 


on  trial  and  acquitted.     This  ended  the  shame- 
ful farce. 

Walker's  next  expedition  was  to  Nicaragua  in 
1855.  A  revolution  was  in  progress  there.  He 
joined  forces  with  the  Democratic  party  or  anti- 
legitimists.  He  took  but  fifty-six  men  with 
him.  These  were  called  the  American  phalanx. 
His  first  engagement  was  an  attack  upon  the 
fortified  town  of  Rivas.  Although  his  men 
fought  bravely,  they  were  defeated  and  two  of 
his  best  officers,  Kewen  and  Crocker,  killed. 
His  next  fight  was  the  battle  of  Virgin  Bay,  in 
which,  with  fifty  Americans  and  one  hundred 
and  twenty  natives,  he  defeated  six  hundred 
legitimists.  He  received  reinforcements  from 
California  and  reorganized  his  force.  He 
seized  the  Accessory  Transit  Company's  lake 
steamer  La  Virgin  against  the  protest  of  the 
company,  embarked  his  troops  on  board  of  it 
and  by  an  adroit  movement  captured  the  capi- 
tal city,  Granada.  His  exploits  were  heralded 
abroad  and  recruits  flocked  to  his  support.  The 
legitimist  had  fired  upon  a  steamer  bringing  pas- 
sengers up  the  San  Juan  river  and  killed  several. 
Walker  in  retaliation  ordered  Mateo  Mazorga, 
the  legitimist  secretary  of  state,  whom  he  had 
taken  prisoner  at  Granada,  shot.  Peace  was  de- 
clared between  the  two  parties  and  Patrico 
Rivas  made  president.  Rivas  was  president  only 
in  name;  'Walker  was  the  real  head  of  the  gov- 
ernment and  virtually  dictator. 

He  was  now  at  the  zenith  of  his  power.  By  a 
series  of  arbitrary  acts  he  confiscated  the  Ac- 
cessory Transit  Company's  vessels  and  charter. 
This  company  had  become  a  power  in  California 
travel  and  had  secured  the  exclusive  transit  of 
passengers  by  the  Nicaragua  route,  then  the 
most  popular  route  to  California. 

By  this  action  he  incurred  the  enmity  of  Yan- 
derbilt,  who  henceforth  worked  for  his  down- 
fall. The  confiscation  of  the  transit  company's 
right  destroyed  confidence  in  the  route,  and 
travel  virtually  ceased  by  it.  This  was  a  blow 
to  the  prosperity  of  the  country.  To  add  to 
Walker's  misfortunes,  the  other  Central  Amer- 
ican states  combined  to  drive  the  hated  foreign- 
ers out  of  the  country.  He  had  gotten  rid  of 
Rivas  and  hail  secured  the  presidency  for  him- 
self.     He   had    secured    the    repeal   of   the    \'u 


aragua  laws  against  slavery  and  thus  paved  the 
way  for  the  introduction  of  his  revered  institu- 
tion. Plis  army  now  amounted  to  about  twelve 
hundred  men,  mostly  recruited  from  California 
and  the  slave  states.  The  cholera  broke  out 
among  his  forces  and  in  the  armies  of  the  allies 
and  numbers  died.  His  cause  was  rapidly  wan- 
ing. Many  of  his  dupes  deserted.  A  series  of 
disasters  arising  from  his  blundering  and  in- 
capacity, resulted  in  his  overthrow.  He  and 
sixteen  of  his  officers  were  taken  out  of  the 
country  on  the  United  States  sloop  of  war,  St. 
Mary's.  The  governor  of  Panama  refused  to 
allow  him  to  land  in  that  city.  He  was  sent 
across  the  isthmus  under  guard  to  Aspinwall 
and  from  there  with  his  staff  took  passage  to 
New  Orleans.  His  misguided  followers  were 
transported  to  Panama  and  found  their  way 
back  to  the  United  States. 

LTpon  arriving  at  New  Orleans  he  began  re- 
cruiting for  a  new  expedition.  One  hundred  and 
fifty  of  his  "emigrants"  sailed  from  Mobile;  the 
pro-slavery  federal  officials  allowing  them  to 
depart.  They  were  wrecked  on  Glover's  reef, 
about  seventy  miles  from  Balize.  They  were 
rescued  by  a  British  vessel  and  returned  to  Mo- 
bile. Walker,  with  one  hundred  and  thirty-two 
armed  emigrants,  landed  at  Punta  Arenas,  No- 
vember 25,  1857,  and  hoisted  his  Nicaraguan 
flag  and  called  himself  commander-in-chief  of 
the  army  of  Nicaragua.  He  and  his  men  b<  gar 
a  career  of  plunder;  seized  the  fort  of  Cas- 
tillo on  the  San  Juan  river;  captured  steam- 
ers, killed  several  inhabitants  and  made 
prisoners  of  others.  Commander  Paulding, 
of  the  United  States  flagship  Wabash,  then 
on  that  coast,  regarded  these  acts  as  rapine 
and  murder,  and  Walker  and  his  men  as  out- 
laws and  pirates.  lie  broke  up  their  camp,  dis- 
armed Walker  and  his  emigrants  and  sent  them 
to  the  United  States  for  trial.  But  instead  of 
Walker  and  his  followers  being  tried  for  piracy 
their  pro-slavery  abettors  made  heroes  of  them. 

Walker's  last  effort  to  regain  his  lost  prestige 
in  Nicaragua  was  made  in  i860.  With  two  hun- 
dred men.  recruited  in  New  Orleans,  he  landed 
near  Truxillo,  in  Honduras.  I  lis  intention  was 
to  make  his  way  by  land  to  Nicaragua.  1  le  very 
soon  found  armed  opposition,     His  new  recruits 


1!IS 


HISTORICAL    AND    BIOGRAPHICAL    RECORD. 


were  not  inclined  to  sacrifice  themselves  to  make 
him  dictator  of  some  country  that  they  had  no 
interest  in.  So  they  refused  to  stand  up  against 
the  heav\  odds  they  encountered  in  every  fight. 
Finding  his  situation  growing  desperate,  he  was 
induced  to  surrender  himself  to  the  captain  of 
the  British  man-of-war  Icarus.  The  authorities 
of  Honduras  made  a  demand  on  the  captain  for 
Walker.  That  British  Officer  promptly  turned 
the  filibuster  over  to  them.  He  was  tried  by 
a  court-martial,  hastily  convened,  found  guilty 
of  the  offenses  charged,  and  condemned  to  die. 
September  25,  i860,  he  was  marched  out  and. 
in  accordance  with  his  sentence,  shot  to  death. 

Walker's  career  is  an  anomaly  in  the  history 
of  mankind.  Devoid  of  all  the  characteristics  of 
a  great  leader,  without  a  commanding  presence, 
puny  in  size,  homely  to  the  point  of  ugliness, 
in  disposition,  cold,  cruel,  selfish,  heartless,  stol- 
idlv  indifferent  to  the  suffering  of  others,  living 
only  to  gratify  the  cravings  of  his  inordinate 
ambition — it  is  strange  that  such  a  man  could 
attract  thousands  to  offer  their  lives  for  his 
aggrandizement  and  sacrifice  themselves  for  a 
cause  of  which  he  was  the  exponent,  a  cause  the 
must  ignoble,  the  extension  of  human  slavery, 
that  for  such  a  man  and  for  such  a  cause  thou- 
sands did  offer  up  their  lives  is  a  sad  commen- 
tary on  the  political  morality  of  that  time.  It 
is  said  that  over  ten  thousand  men  joined 
Walker  in  his  filibustering  schemes  and  that 
fifty-seven  hundred  of  these  found  graves  in 
Nicaragua.  Of  the  number  of  natives  killed  in 
battle  or  who  died  of  disease,  there  is  no  record, 
Imt  it  greatly  exceeded  Walker's  losses. 

While  Walker  was  attaining  some  success  in 
Nicaragua,  another  California  filibuster  entered 
the  arena.  This  was  Henry  A.  Crabb,  a  Stock- 
ton lawyer.  Like  Walker,  he  was  a  native  of 
Tennessee,  and,  like  him.  too.  he  was  a  rabid 
'  r\  advocate.  He  had  served  in  the 
assembl)  and  one  term  in  the  -tale  senate.  It 
is  -aid  he  was  the  author  of  a  bill  to  allow  slave- 
holders who  bri  lUghl  their  -lave-  into  (  'alitornia 
1:-  admission  to  take  their  human  chattels 
back  into  bondage.  He  was  originally  a  Whig, 
the  Know  Nothing  party  and  was 
a  Candida'.'  of  that  party  for  United  State-  sen- 
ator in   1856:    but  his  extreme  southern  princi- 


ples prevented  his  election.  He  had  married  a 
Spanish  wife,  who  had  numerous  and  influential 
relatives  in  Sonora.  It  was  claimed  that  Crabb 
had  received  an  invitation  from  some  of  these  to 
bring  down  an  armed  force  of  Americans  to 
overthrow  the  government  and  make  himself 
master  of  the  country.  Whether  he  did  or  did 
not  receive  such  an  invitation,  he  did  recruit  a 
body  of  men  for  some  kind  of  service  in  Sonora. 
With  a  force  of  one  hundred  men,  well  armed 
with  rifles  and  revolvers,  he  sailed,  in  January, 
1857,  on  the  steamer  Sea  Bird,  from  San  Fran- 
cisco to  San  Pedro  and  from  there  marched  over- 
land. As  usual,  no  attempt  was  made  by  the 
federal  authorities  to  prevent  him  from  invading 
a  neighboring  country  with  an  armed  force. 

He  entered  Sonora  at  Sonita,  a  small  town 
one  hundred  miles  from  Yuma.  His  men  helped 
themselves  to  what  they  could  find.  When  ap- 
proaching the  town  of  Cavorca  they  were  fired 
upon  by  a  force  of  men  lying  in  ambush.  The 
fire  was  kept  up  from  all  quarters.  They  made  a 
rush  and  gained  the  shelter  of  the  houses.  In 
the  charge  two  of  their  men  had  been  killed  and 
eighteen  wounded.  In  the  house  they  had  taken 
:on  of  they  were  exposed  to  shots  from 
a  church.  Crabb  and  fifteen  of  his  men  tit- 
tempted  to  blow  open  the  doors  of  the  church 
with  gunpowder,  but  in  the  attempt,  which 
failed,  five  of  the  men  were  killed,  and  seven, 
including  Crabb,  wounded.  After  holding  out 
for  five  days  they  surrendered  to  the  Mexicans, 
Gabilondo,  the  Mexican  commander,  promising 
to  spare  their  lives.  Next  morning  they  were 
marched  out  in  squads  of  five  to  ten  and  shot. 
Crabb  was  tied  to  a  post  and  a  hundred  balls 
fired  into  him ;  his  head  was  cut  off  and  placed 
in  a  jar  of  mescal.  The  only  one  spared  was  a 
boy  of  fifteen.  Charles  E.  Evans.  A  party  of 
sixteen  men  whom  Crabb  had  left  at  Sonita 
was  surprised  and  all  massacred.  The  boy 
Evans  was  the  only  one  left  to  tell  the  fate  of  the 
ill-starred  expedition.  This  put  an  end  to  fili- 
bustering expeditions  into  Sonora. 

These  tinned  forays  on  the  neighboring  coun- 
tries to  the  south  of  the  United  States  ceased 
with  the  beginning  of  the  war  of  secession. 
The}  had  all  been  made  for  the  purpose  of  ac- 
quiring  slave   territory.     The   leaders   of   them 


; 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL    RECORD. 


19!) 


were  southern  men  and  the  rank  and  file  wen.' 
mostly  recruited  from  natives  of  the  slave  states. 
Bancroft  truthfully  says  of  these  filibustering 
expeditions :  'They  were  foul  robberies,  covered 
by  the  flimsiest  of  political  and  social  pretenses, 
gilded  by  false  aphorisms  and  profane  distortion 
of  sacred  formulae.  Liberty  dragged  in  the  mud 
for  purposes  of  theft  and  human  enslavement; 
the  cause  of  humanity  bandied  in  filthy  mouths 
to     promote     atrocious     butcheries;      peaceful, 


blooming  valleys  given  over  to  devastation  and 
ruin;  happy  families  torn  asunder,  and  widows 
and  orphans  cast  adrift  to  nurse  affliction;  and 
finally,  the  peace  of  nations  imperiled,  and  the 
morality  of  right  insulted.  The  thought  of  such 
results  should  obliterate  all  romance,  and  turn 
pride  to  shame.  They  remain  an  ineffaceable 
stain  upon  the  government  of  the  most  progres- 
sive of  nations,  and  veil  in  dismal  irony  the 
dream  of  manifest  destiny." 


CHAPTER   XXIX. 

FROM  GOLD  TO  GRAIN  AND  FRUITS. 


UNDER  the  Spanish  and  Mexican  jurisdic- 
tions there  was  but  little  cultivation  of 
the  soil  in  California.  While  the  gardens 
of  some  of  the  missions,  and  particularly  those 
of  Santa  Barbara  and  San  Buenaventura,  pre- 
sented a  most  appetizing  display  of  fruit  and 
vegetables,  at  the  ranchos  there  were  but  mea- 
ger products.  Gilroy  says  that  when  he  came 
to  the  country,  in  1814,  potatoes  were  not  cul- 
tivated and  it  was  a  rare  thing  outside  of  the 
mission  gardens  to  find  any  onions  or  cabbages. 
A  few  acres  of  wheat  and  a  small  patch  of  maize 
or  corn  furnished  bread,  or.  rather,  tortillas  for 
a  family.  At  the  missions  a  thick  soup  made  of 
boiled  wheat  or  maize  and  meat  was  the  stand- 
ard article  of  diet  for  the  neophytes.  This  was 
portioned  out  to  them  in  the  quantity  of  about 
three  pints  to  each  person.  Langsdorff,  who 
witnessed  the  distribution  of  soup  rations  to  the 
Indians  at  Santa  Clara,  says:  "It  appeared  in- 
comprehensible how  any  one  could  three  times  a 
day  eat  so  large  a  portion  of  such,  nourishing 
food."  The  neophytes  evidently  had  healthy  ap- 
petites. Frijoles  (beans)  were  the  staple  vege- 
table dish  in  Spanish  families.  These  were 
served  up  at  almost  every  meal.  The  bill  of 
fare  for  a  native  Californian  family  was  very 
simple. 

A  considerable  aim  mm  of  wheal  was  raised 
at  the  more  favorably  located  missions.  It  was 
not  raised  for  export,  but  to  feed  the  neophytes. 


The  wheat  fields  had  to  be  fenced  in,  or  perhaps 
it  would  be  more  in  accordance  with  the  facts 
to  say  that  the  cattle  had  to  be  fenced  out.  As 
timber  was  scarce,  adobe  brick  did  duty  for 
fencing  as  well  as  for  house  building.  Some- 
times the  low  adobe  walls  were  made  high  and 
safe  by  placing  on  top  of  them  a  row  of  the 
skulls  of  Spanish  cattle  with  the  long,  curving 
horns  attached  to  them  pointing  outward.  These 
were  brought  from  the  matanzas  or  slaughter 
corrals  where  there  were  thousands  of  them 
lying  around.  It  was  almost  impossible  for 
man  or  beast  to  scale  such  a  fence. 

The  agricultural  implements  of  the  early  Cali- 
fornians  were  few  and  simple.  The  Mexican 
plow  was  a  forked  stick  with  an  iron  point  las 
tened  to  the  fork  or  branch  that  penetrated  the 
ground.  It  turned  no  furrow,  but  merely 
scratched  the  surface  of  the  ground.  After  sow- 
ing it  was  a  race  between  the  weeds  and  the 
grain.  It  depended  on  the  season  which  won. 
If  the  season  was  cold  and  backward,  so  that 
eed  did  not  sprout  readily,  the  weeds  gol 
the  start  and  won  oul  easily.  And  yet  with  such 
primitive  cultivation  the  yield  was  sometimes 
astonishing.  \i  the  Mission  San  Diego  the 
crop  of  wheat  one  year  produced  one  hundred 
and  ninety-five  fold.  \s  the  agriculturist  had 
a  large  area  from  which  to  select  his  arable  land, 
only  the  richest    soils  were  ore  the 

discover)   of  gold  there  was  little  or  no  market 


200 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


for  grain,  and  each  ranchero  rajsed  only  enough 
for  his  own  use.  For  a  time  there  was  some 
trade  with  the  Russians  in  grain  to  supply  their 
settlements  in  Alaska,  but  this  did  not  continue 

\\  hen  some  of  the  Americans  who  came  in 
ill''  gold  rush  began  to  turn  their  attention  to 
agriculture  they  greatly  underrated  the  produc- 
tiveness of  the  country.  To  men  raised  where 
the  summer  rains  were  needed  to  raise  a  crop 
it  seemed  impossible  to  produce  a  crop  in  a 
country  that  was  rainless  for  six  or  eight  months 
of  the  year.  All  attempts  at  agriculture  hitherto 
had  been  -along  the  rivers,  and  it  was  generally 
believed  that  the  plains  back  from  the  water 
courses  could  never  be  used  for  any  other  pur- 
pose than  cattle  raising. 

The  mining  rush  of  '49  found  California  with- 
out vegetables  and  fresh  fruit.  The  distance 
was  too  great  for  the  slow  transportation  of 
that  day  to  ship  these  into  the  country.  Those 
who  first  turned  their  attention  to  market  gar- 
dening made  fortunes.  The  story  is  told  of  an 
old  German  named  Schwartz  who  had  a  small 
ranch  a  few  miles  below  Sacramento.  In  [848, 
when  everybody  was  rushing  to  the  mines,  he 
remained  on  his  farm,  unmoved  by  the  stories 
of  the  wonderful  finds  of  gold.  Anticipating  a 
greater  rush  in  1849,  ne  planted  several  acres 
in  watermelons.  As  they  ripened  he  took  them 
up  to  the  city  and  disposed  of  them  at  prices 
ranging  from  $1  to  $5,  according  to  size,  lie 
realized  that  season  from  his  melons  alone 
$30,000.  The  first  field  of  cabbages  was  grown 
by  <  icorge  H.  Peck  and  a  partner  in  1850.  From 
defective  seed  or  some  other  cause  the  cabbage 
failed  to  come  to  a  head.  Supposing  that  the 
delect  was  in  the  climate  and  not  in  the  cabbage, 
the  honest  rancher  marketed  his  crop  in  San 
Francisco,  carrying  a  cabbage  in  each  hand 
along  the  streets  until  he  found  a  customer.  To 
the  query  why  there  were  no  heads  to  them 
the  replj  was,  "That's  tin-  waj  cabbages  grow 
in  California."  lie  got  rid  of  bis  crop  at  the 
Kite  .if  Si  apiece  for  each  headless  cabbage. 
But  all  the  vegetable  growing  experiments  were 
nol  a  financial  success.  The  high  price  of  po- 
rted  a  tuber-growing  epidemic 
in    [850.      Hundreds   of   acres    were    planted    1.. 


"spuds"  in  the  counties  contiguous  to  San 
Francisco,  the  agriculturists  paying  as  high  as 
fifteen  cents  per  pound  for  seed.  The  yield  was 
enormous  and  the  market  was  soon  overstocked. 
The  growers  who  could  not  dispose  of  their 
potatoes  stacked  them  up  in  huge  piles  in  the 
fields;  and  there  they  rotted,  filling  the  country 
around  with  their  effluvia.  The  next  year  no- 
l>"d\  planted  potatoes,  and  prices  went  up  to 
the  figures  of  '49  and  the  spring  of  '50. 

The  size  to  which  vegetables  grew  astonished 
the  amateur  agriculturists.  Beets,  when  allowed 
to  grow  to  maturity,  resembled  the  trunks  of 
trees;  onions  looked  like  squash,  while  a  patch 
of  pumpkins  resembled  a  tented  field;  and  corn 
grew  so  tall  that  the  stalks  had  to  be  felled  to 
gt\  ai  the  ears.  Onions  were  a  favorite  vege- 
table in  the  mining  camps  on  account  of  their 
anti-scorbutic  properties  as  a  preventive  of 
scurvy.  The  honest  miner  was  not  fastidious 
about  the  aroma.  They  were  a  profitable  crop, 
too.  One  ranchero  in  the  Xapa  valley  was  re- 
ported to  have  cleared  $8,000  off  two  acres  of 
onions. 

\\  it h  the  decline  of  gold  mining  wheat  be- 
came the  staple  product  of  central  California. 
The  nearness  to  shipping  ports  and  the  large 
yields  made  wheat  growing  very  profitable.  In 
the  years  immediately  following  the  Civil  war 
the  price  ranged  high  and  a  fortune  was  some- 
times made  from  the  products  of  a  single  field. 
It  may  be  necessary  to  explain  that  the  field 
might  contain  anywhere  from  five  hundred  to 
a  thousand  acres.  The  grain  area  was  largely 
extended  by  the  discovery  that  land  in  the 
upper  mesas,  which  had  been  regarded  as  only 
fit  for  pasture  land,  was  good  for  cereals.  The 
land  in  the  southern  part  of  the  state,  which 
was  held  in  large  grants,  continued  to  be  de- 
voted  to  cattle  raising  for  at  least  two  decades 
after  the  American  conquest.  After  the  dis- 
covery of  gold  cattle  raising  became  immensely 
profitable.  Under  the  Mexican  regime  a  steer 
was  worth  what  his  hide  and  tallow  would  bring 
or  about  $2  or  $3.  The  rush  of  immigration  in 
[849  -eiil  the  price  of  cattle  up  until  a  fat  bul- 
lock sold  for  from  $30  to  $35.  The  profit  to  a 
ranchero  who  had  a  thousand  or  more  marketa- 
ble cattle  was  a  fortune.     A  good,  well-stocked 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


I'lil 


cattle  ranch  was  more  valuable  than  a  gold 
mine. 

The  enormous  profits  in  cattle  raising  dazed 
the  Californians.  Had  they  been  thrifty  and 
economical,  they  might  have  grown  rich.  But 
the  sudden  influx  of  wealth  engendered  extrava- 
gant habits  and  when  the  price  of  cattle  fell,  as 
it  did  in  a  few  years,  the  spendthrift  customs 
were  continued.  When  the  cattle  market  was 
dull  it  was  easy  to  raise  money  by  mortgaging 
the  ranch.  With  interest  at  the  rate  of  5  per 
cent  per  month,  compounded  monthly,  it  did 
not  take  long  for  land  and  cattle  both  to  change 
hands.  It  is  related  of  the  former  owner  of 
the  Santa  Gertrudes  rancho'  that  he  borrowed 
$500  from  a  money  lender,  at  5  per  cent  a 
month,  to  beat  a  poker  game,  but  did  not  suc- 
ceed. Then  he  borrowed  more  money  to  pay 
the  interest  on  the  first  and  kept  on  doing  so 
until  interest  and  principal  amounted  to  $100,- 
000;  then  the  mortgage  was  foreclosed  and 
property  to-day  worth  $1,000,000  was  lost  for 
a  paltry  $500  staked  on  a  poker  game. 

Gold  mining  continued  to  be  the  prevailing 
industry  of  northern  California.  The  gold  pro- 
duction reached  its  acme  in  1853.  when  the 
total  yield  was  $65,000,000.  From  that  time 
there  was  a  gradual  decline  in  production  and 
in  the  number  of  men  employed.  Many  had 
given  up  the  hopes  of  striking  it  rich  and  quit 
the  business  for  something  more  certain  and 
less  illusive.  The  production  of  gold  in  1X52 
was  $60,000,000,  yet  the  average  yield  to  each 
man  of  the  one  hundred  thousand  engaged  in 
it  was  only  about  $600,  or  a  little  over  $2  per 
day  to  the  man,  scarcely  living  wages  as  prices 
were  then.  It  has  been  claimed  that  the  cost  of 
producing  the  gold,  counting  all  expenditures, 
was  three  times  the  value  of  that  produced. 
Even  if  it  did,  the  development  of  the  country 
and  impulse  given  to  trade  throughout  the 
world  would  more  than  counterbalance  the  loss. 
At  the  time  of  the  discovery  of  gold  nearly  all 
of  the  fruit  raised  in  California  was  produced  at 
Santa  Barbara  and  Los  Angeles.  In  Spanish  and 
Mexican  days,  Los  Angeles  had  been  the  prin- 
cipal wine-producing  district  of  California.  Al- 
though wine,  as  well  as  other  spirituous  liquors, 
were  in  demand,  the  vineyardists  found  it  more 


profitable  to  ship  their  grapes  to  San  Francisco 
than  to  manufacture  them  into  wine.  Grapes 
retailed  in  the  city  of  San  Francisco  at  from 
twelve  and  one-half  to  twenty-five  cents  a 
pound.  The  vineyards  were  as  profitable  as 
the  cattle  ranches.  The  mission  Indians  did  the 
labor  in  the  vineyards  and  were  paid  in  aguar- 
diente on  Saturday  night.  By  Sunday  morning 
they  were  all  drunk;  then  they  were  gathered 
up  and  put  into  a  corral.  On  Monday  morning 
they  were  sold  to  pay  the  cost  of  their  dissipa- 
tion. It  did  not  take  many  years  to  kill  off  the 
Indians.  The  city  has  grown  over  the  former 
sites  of  the  vineyards. 

The  first  orange  trees  were  planted  at  the 
Mission  San  Gabriel  about  the  year  1815  and 
a  few  at  Los  Angeles  about  the  same  time.  But 
little  attention  was  given  to  the  industry  by  the 
Californians.  The  first  extensive  grove  was 
planted  by  William  Wolfskill  in  1840.  The  im- 
pression then  prevailed  that  oranges  could  be 
grown  only  on  the  low  lands  near  the  river. 
The  idea  of  attempting  to  grow  them  on  the 
mesa  lands  was  scouted  at  by  the  Californians 
and  the  Americans.  The  success  that  attended 
the  Riverside  experiment  demonstrated  that 
they  could  be  grown  on  the  mesas,  and  that  the 
fruit  produced  was  superior  to  that  grown  on 
the  river  bottoms.  This  gave  such  an  impel  us 
to  the  industry  in  the  south  that  it  has  distanced 
all  others.  The  yearly  shipment  to  the  eastern 
markets  is  twenty  thousand  car  loads.  The  cit- 
rus belt  is  extending  every  year. 

The  Californians  paid  but  little  attention  to 
the  quality  of  the  fruit  they  raised.  The  seed 
fell  in  the  ground  and  sprouted.  If  the  twig 
survived  and  grew  to  be  a  tree,  they  ate  the  fruit, 
asking  no  question  whether  the  quality  might 
be  improved.  The  pears  grown  at  the  missions 
and  at  some  of  the  ranch  houses  were  hard  and 
tasteless.  It  was  said  they  never  ripened.  \ 
small  black  fig  was  cultivated  in  a  few  places, 
but  the  quantity  of  fruit  grown  outside  of  the 
mission  gardens  was  very  small. 

The  high  price  of  all  kinds  of  fruit  in  the  early 
'50s  induced  the  importation  of  apple,  peach, 
pear,  plum  ami  prune  trees.  These  thrived  and 
soon  supplied  the  demand.  Before  the  advent 
of  the  railroads  and  the  shipment  east  the  quan- 


202 


HISTORICAL   AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


tit)  of  deciduous  fruit  produced  had  outgrown 
the  demand,  and  there  was  no  profit  in  its  pro- 
duction. All  this  has  been  changed  by  eastern 
shipment. 

Sheep  were  brought  to  the  country  with  the 
first  missionary  expeditions.  The  Indian  in  his 
primitive  condition  did  not  use  clothing.  A 
coat  of  mud  was  his  only  garment  and  he  was 
not  at  all  particular  about  the  fit  of  that.  After 
his  conversion  the  missionaries  put  clothing  on 
him,  or,  rather,  on  part  of  him.  He  was  given  a 
shirt,  which  was  a  shirt  of  Xessus.  being  made  of 
the  coarse  woolen  cloth  manufactured  at  the 
mission.  It  was  irritating  to  the  skin  and  com- 
pelled the  poor  wretches  to  keep  up  a  continual 
scratching;  at  least,  that  is  what  Hugo  Reid 
tells  us.  During  the  Civil  war  and  for  several 
years  after,  the  sheep  industry  was  very  profit- 
able. The  subdivision  of  the  great  ranchos  and 
the  absorption  of  the  land  for  grain  growing  and 
fruit  culture  have  contracted  the  sheep  ranges 
until  there  is  but  little  left  for  pasture  except  the 
foothills  that  are  too  rough  for  cultivation. 

Up  to  1863  the  great  Spanish  grants  that  cov- 
ered the  southern  part  of  the  state  had,  with  a 
few  exceptions,  been  held  intact  and  cattle  rais- 
ing had  continued  to  be  the  principal  industry. 
For  several  seasons  previous  to  the  famine  years 
of  1863  and  1864  there  had  been  heavy  rainfalls 
and  consequently  abundant  feed.  With  that 
careless  indifference  that  marked  the  business 
management  of  the  native  Californian,  the 
ranges  had  become  overstocked.  When  the 
dry  vear  of  1863  set  in,  the  feed  on  ranches  was 
soon  exhausted  and  the  cattle  starving.  The 
second  famine  year  following,  the  cattle  industry 
was  virtually  wiped  out  of  existence  and  the 
cattle-owners  ruined.  In  Santa  Barbara,  where 
the  cattle  barons  held  almost  imperial  sway, 
and,  with  their  army  of  retainers,  controlled  the 
political  affairs  of  the  county,  of  the  two  hun- 
dred thousand  cattle  listed  on  the  assessment 
roll  of  [862,  onl)  five  thousand  were  alive  when 
grass  grew  in  1865.  On  the  Stearns'  ranchos  in 
Los  Angeles  county,  one  hundred  thousand 
head  of  cattle  and  horses  perished,  and  the 
owner  of  a  quarter  million  acres  and  a  large 
amount  of  city  property  could  not  raise  money 
enough  to  pay  $1,000  taxes. 


Many  of  the  rancheros  were  in  debt  when  the 
hard  times  came,  and  others  mortgaged  their 
land  at  usurious  rates  of  interest  to  carry  them 
through  the  famine  years.  Their  cattle  dead, 
they  had  no  income  to  meet  the  interest  on  the 
cancerous  mortgage  that  was  eating  up  their 
patrimony.  The  result  was  that  they  were  com- 
pelled either  to  sell  their  land  or  the  mortgage 
was  foreclosed  and  they  lost  it.  This  led  to  the 
subdivision  of  the  large  grants  into  small  .hold- 
ings, the  new  proprietors  finding  that  there  was 
more  profit  in  selling  them  off  in  small  tracts 
than  in  large  ones.  This  brought  in  an  intelli- 
gent and  progressive  population,  and  in  a  few 
years  entirely  revolutionized  the  agricultural 
conditions  of  the  south.  Grain  growing  and 
fruit  raising  became  the  prevailing  industries. 
The  adobe  ranch  house  with  its  matanzas  and 
its  Golgotha  of  cattle  skulls  and  bones  gave 
place  to  the  tasty  farm  house  with  its  flower 
garden,  lawn  and  orange  grove. 

The  Californians  paid  but  little  attention  to 
improving  the  breed  of  their  cattle.  When  the 
only  value  in  an  animal  was  the  hide  and  tallow, 
it  did  not  pay  to  improve  the  breed.  The  hide 
of  a  long-horned,  mouse-colored  Spanish  steer 
would  sell  for  as  much  as  that  of  a  high-bred 
Durham  or  Holstein,  and,  besides,  the  first 
could  exist  where  the  latter  would  starve  to 
death.  After  the  conquest  there  was  for  some 
time  but  little  improvement.  Cattle  were  brought 
across  the  plains,  but  for  the  most  part  these 
were  the  mongrel  breeds  of  the  western  states 
and  were  but  little  improvement  on  the  Spanish 
stock.  It  was  not  until  the  famine  years  vir- 
tually exterminated  the  Spanish  cattle  that  bet- 
ter breeds  were  introduced. 

As  with  cattle,  so  also  it  was  with  horses. 
Little  attention  was  given  to  improving  the 
breed.  While  there  were  a  few  fine  race  horses 
and  saddle  horses  in  the  country  before  its 
American  occupation,  the  prevailing  equine  was 
the  mustang.  He  was  a  vicious  beast,  nor  was 
it  strange  that  his  temper  was  bad.  He  had  to 
endure  starvation  and  abuse  that  would  have 
killed  a  more  aristocratic  animal.  He  took  care 
of  himself,  subsisted  on  what  he  could  pick  up 
and  to  the  best  of  his  ability  resented  ill  treat- 
ment.    Horses  during  the  Mexican  regime  were 


HISTORICAL   AXD    BIOGRAH1H  AL    RECORD. 


jo:; 


used  only  for  riding.  Oxen  were  the  draft  ani- 
mals. Tlic  mustang  had  one  inherent  trail  that 
did  not  endear  him  to  an  American,  and  that 
was  his  propensity  to  "buck."  With  his  nose 
between  his  knees,  his  back  arched  and  his  legs 
stiffened,  by  a  series  of  short,  quick  jumps,  he 
could  dismount  an  inexperienced  rider  with 
neatness  and  dispatch.  The  Californian  took 
delight  in  urging  the  bronco  to  "buck"  so  that 
he  (the  rider)  might  exhibit  his  skillful  horse- 
manship. The  mustang  had  some  commenda- 
ble traits  as  well.  He  was  sure-footed  as  a  goat 
and  could  climb  the  steep  hillsides  almost  equal 
to  that  animal.  He  had  an  easy  gait  under  the. 
saddle  and  could  measure  off  mile  after  mile 
without  a  halt.  His  power  of  endurance  was 
wonderful.  He  could  live  off  the  country  when 
apparently  there  was  nothing  to  subsist  on  ex- 
cept the  bare  ground.  He  owed  mankind  a  debt 
of  ingratitude  which  he  always  stood  ready  to 
pay  when  an  opportunity  offered.  The  passing 
of  the  mustang  began  with  the  advent  of  the 
American    farmer. 

The  founding  of  agricultural  colonies  began 
in  the  '50s.  One  of  the  first,  if  not  the  first,  was 
the  German  colony  of  Anaheim,  located  thirty 
miles  south  of  Los  Angeles.  A  company  of 
Germans  organized  in  San  Francisco  in  1857 
for  the  purpose  of  buying  land  for  the  cultiva- 
tion of  the  wine  grape  and  the  manufacture  of 
wine.  The  organization  was  a  stock  company. 
Eleven  hundred  acres  were  purchased  in  a 
Spanish  grant.  This  was  subdivided  into  twenty 
and  forty  acre  tracts;  an  irrigating  ditch 
brought  in  from  the  Santa  Ana  river.  A  por- 
tion of  each  subdivision  was  planted  in  vines 
and  these  were  cultivated  by  the  company  until 
they  came  into  bearing,  when  the  tracts  were 
divided  among  the  stockholders  by  lot,  a  cer- 
tain valuation  being  fixed  on  each  tract.  The 
man  obtaining  a  choice  lot  paid  into  the  fund 
a  certain  amount  and  the  one  receiving  an  infe- 
rior tract  received  a  certain  amount,  so  that  each 
received  the  same  value  in  the  distribution.  The 
colony  proved  quite  a  success,  and  for  thirty 
years  Anaheim  was  one  of  the  largest  wine- 
producing  districts  in  the  United  States.  In 
1887  a  mysterious  disease  destroyed  all  the  vines 
and    the    vineTardists     turned    their    attention 


to     the     cultivation     of    oranges     and     English 
walnuts. 

The  Riverside  colony,  then  in  San  Bernardino 
county,  now  in  Riverside  county,  was  founded 
in  1870.  The  projectors  of  the  colony  were 
eastern  gentlemen.  At  the  head  of  the  organiza- 
tion was  Judge  J.  W.  North.  They  purchased 
four  thousand  acres  of  the  Roubidoux  or  Jurupa 
rancho  and  fourteen  hundred  and  sixty  acres  of 
government  land  from  the  California  Silk  Cen- 
ter Association.  This  association  had  been  or- 
ganized in  1869  for  the  purpose  of  founding  a 
colony  to  cultivate  mulberry  trees  and  manu- 
facture silk.  It  had  met  with  reverses,  first  in 
the  death  of  its  president,  Louis  Prevost,  a  man 
skilled  in  the  silk  business,  next  in  the  revoca- 
tion by  the  legislature  of  the  bounty  for  mul- 
berry plantations,  and  lastly  in  the  subsidence 
of  the  sericulture  craze.  To  encourage  silk  cul- 
ture in  California,  the  legislature,  in  1866,  passed 
an  act  authorizing  the  payment  of  a  bounty  of 
$250  for  every  plantation  of  five  thousand  mul- 
berry trees  two  years  old.  This  greatly  stimu- 
lated the  planting  of  mulberry  trees,  if  it  did 
not  greatly  increase  the  production  of  silk.  In 
1869  it  was  estimated  that  in  the  central  and 
southern  portions  of  the  state  there  were  ten 
millions  of  mulberry  trees  in  various  stages  of 
growth.  Demands  for  the  bounty  poured  in 
upon  the  commissioners  in  such  numbers  that 
the  state  treasury  was  threatened  with  bank- 
ruptcy. The  revocation  of  the  bounty  killed 
the  silk  worms  and  the  mulberry  trees:  ami 
those  who  had  been  attacked  with  the  sericulture 
craze  quickly  recovered.  The  Silk  Center  As- 
sociation, having  fallen  into  hard  lines,  offered 
its  lands  for  sale  at  advantageous  terms,  and  in 
September,  1870,  they  were  purchased  by  the 
Southern  California  Colon)  Association.  The 
land  was  bought  at  S3. 50  per  acre,  li  was  mesa 
or  table  land  that  had  never  been  cultivated. 
It  was  considered  by  old-timers  indifferent  sheep 
pasture,  and  Roubidoux,  i;  is  -aid.  had  it  struck 
from  the  tax  roll  because  it  was  not  worth  tax- 
ing. 

The  company  had  the  land  subdivided  and 
laid  off  a  town  which  was  first  named  Jurupa, 
but  afterwards  the  name  was  changed  to  River- 
side.     The  river,   the   Santa   Ana.   did   not   flow 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL    RECORD. 


past  the  town,  but  the  colonists  hoped  to  make 
a  goodly  portion  of  its  waters  do  so.  The  lands 
were  put  on  sale  at  reasonable  prices,  a  ditch 
at  a  cost  of  $50,000  was  constructed.  Experi- 
ments were  made  with  oranges,  raisin  grapes 
and  deciduous  fruits,  but  the  colony  finally  set- 
tled down  to  orange  producing.  In  1877  the 
introduction  of  the  Bahia  or  navel  orange  gave 
an  additional  impetus  to  orange  growing  in  the 
colony,  the  fruit  of  that  species  being  greatly 
superior  to  any  other.  This  fruit  was  propa- 
gated by  budding  from  two  trees  received  from 
Washington,  D.  C,  by  J.  A.  Tibbetts,  of  River- 
side. 


The  Indiana  colony,  which  later  became  Pasa- 
dena, was  founded  in  1873  by  some  gentlemen 
from  Indiana.  Its  purpose  was  the  growing  of 
citrus  fruits  and  raisin  grapes,  but  it  has  grown 
into  a  city,  and  the  orange  groves,  once  the 
pride  of  the  colony,  have  given  place  to  business 
blocks  and  stately  residences. 

During  the  early  '70s  a  number  of  agricul- 
tural colonies  were  founded  in  Fresno  county. 
These  were  all  fruit-growing  and  raisin-pro- 
ducing enterprises.  They  proved  successful  and 
Fresno  has  become  the  largest  raisin-pro- 
ducing district  in  the  state. 


CHAPTER   XXX. 


THE    CIVIL    WAR— LOYALTY    AND    DISLOYALTY. 


THE  admission  of  California  into  the  Union 
as  a  free  state  did  not,  in  the  opinion  of 
the  ultra  pro-slavery  faction,  preclude  the 
possibility  of  securing  a  part  of  its  territory  for 
the  "peculiar  institution"  of  the  south.  The 
question  of  state  division  which  had  come  up 
in  the  constitutional  convention  was  again  agi- 
tated. The  advocates  of  division  hoped  to  cut 
off  from  the  southern  part,  territory  enough  for 
a  new  state.  The  ostensible  purpose  of  division 
was  kept  concealed.  The  plea  of  unjust  taxa- 
tion was  made  prominent.  The  native  Califor- 
nians  who  under  Mexican  rule  paid  no  taxes  on 
their  land  were  given  to  understand  that  they 
were  bearing  an  undue  proportion  of  the  cost 
of  government,  while  the  mining  counties,  pay- 
ing less  tax,  had  the  greater  representation.  The 
native  Californians  were  opposed  to  slavery,  an 
open  advocacy  of  the  real  purpose  would  defeat 
the  division  scheme. 

The  leading  men  in  the  southern  part  of  the 
state  were  from  the  slave  states.  If  the  state 
were  divided,  the  influence  of  these  men  would 
carry  the  new  state  into  the  Union  with  a  con- 
stitution authorizing  slave-holding  and  thus  the 
south  would  gain  two  senators.  The  division 
question  came  up  in  some  form  in  nearh  every 
session  of  the  legislature  for  a  decade  after  Cali- 
fornia became  a  state. 


In  the  legislature  of  1854-55,  Jefferson  Hunt, 
of  San  Bernardino  county,  introduced  a  bill  in 
the  assembly  to  create  and  establish,  "out  of 
the  territory  embraced  within  the  limits  of  the 
state  of  California,  a  new  state,  to  be  called  the 
state  of  Columbia."  The  territory  embraced 
within  the  counties  of  Santa  Cruz,  Santa  Clara, 
San  Joaquin,  Calaveras,  Amador,  Tuolumne, 
Stanislaus,  Mariposa,  Tulare,  Monterey,  Santa 
Barbara,  San  Luis  Obispo,  Los  Angeles,  San 
Bernardino  and  San  Diego,  with  the  islands  on 
the  coast,  were  to  constitute  the  new  state. 
"The  people  residing  within  the  above  mentioned 
territory  shall  be  and  they  are  hereby  author- 
ized, so  soon  as  the  consent  of  the  congress  of 
the  United  States  shall  be  obtained  thereto,  to 
proceed  to  organize  a  state  government  under 
such  rules  as  are  prescribed  by  the  constitution 
of  the  United  States."  The  bill  met  with  oppo- 
sition. It  took  in  some  of  the  mining  counties 
whose  interests  were  not  coincident  with  the 
agricultural  counties  of  the  south.  It  died  on 
the  files. 

At  a  subsequent  session,  a  bill  was  introduced 
in  the  legislature  to  divide  the  state  into  three 
parts,  southern,  central  and  northern,  the  cen- 
tral state  to  retain  the  name  of  California.  This 
was  referred  to  a  committee  and  got  no  farther. 
Ii   was  not  satisfactory  to  the  pro-slavery  ele- 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


ment  because  the  gain  to  the  south  would  be 
.overbalanced  by  the  gain  to  the  north. 

The  success  of  border  ruffianism,  backed  by 
the  Buchanan  administration,  in  forcing  the  de- 
testable Lecompton  pro-slavery  constitution  on 
the  people  of  Kansas,  encouraged  the  division- 
ists  to  make  another  effort  to  divide  the  state. 
While  California  was  a  free  state  it  had  through- 
out its  existence,  up  to  1857,  when  Broderick 
was  elected  to  the  senate,  been  represented  in 
both  houses  either  by  slave-holders  from  the 
south  or  by  northern  "dough  faces" — men  of 
northern  birth  with  southern  principles.  Most 
of  the  state  offices  had  been  filled  by  southern 
men  who  had  come  to  the  state  to  obtain  office 
or  men  who  had  been  imported  by  their  friends 
or  relatives  to  fill  positions  by  appointment. 
Indeed,  so  notorious  had  this  importation  of 
office-holders  become  that  California  was  often 
referred  to  as  the  "Virginia  poorhouse." 
Scarcely  a  legislature  had  convened  in  which 
there  was  not  some  legislation  against  free  ne- 
groes. A  free  colored  man  was  as  terrible  to 
the  chivalrous  legislators  as  an  army  with  ban- 
ners. 

The  legislature  of  1859  was  intensely  pro- 
slavery.  The  divisionists  saw  in  it  an  oppor- 
tunity to  carry  out  their  long-deferred  scheme. 
The  so-called  Pico  law,  an  act  granting  the 
consent  of  the  legislature  to  the  formation  of  a 
different  government  for  the  southern  counties 
of  this  state,  was  introduced  early  in  the  ses- 
sion, passed  in  both  houses  and  approved  by 
the  governor  April  18,  1859.  The  boundaries 
of  the  proposed  state  were  as  follows:  "All  of 
that  part  or  portion  of  the  present  territory  of 
this  state  lying  all  south  of  a  line  drawn  east- 
ward from  the  west  boundary  of  the  state  along 
the  sixth  standard  parallel  south  of  the  Mount 
Diablo  meridian,  east  to  the  summit  of  the 
coast  range;  thence  southerly  following  said 
summit  to  the  seventh  standard  parallel:  thence 
due  east  on  said  standard,  parallel  to  its  inter- 
section with  the  northwest  boundary  of  Los 
Angeles  county;  thence  northeast  along  said 
boundary  to  the  eastern  boundary  of  the  slate. 
including  the  counties  of  San  Luis  Obispo, 
Santa  Barbara,  Los  Angeles,  San  Diego,  San 
Bernardino  and  a  part  of  Buena  \  ista,  shall  he 


segregated  from  the  remaining  portion  of  the 
state  for  the  purpose  of  the  formation  by  con- 
gress, with  the  concurrent  action  of  said  portion 
(the  consent  for  the  segregation  of  which  is 
hereby  granted),  of  a  territorial  or  other  gov- 
ernment under  the  name  of  the  "Territory  of 
Colorado,"  or  such  other  name  as  may  be 
deemed  meet  and  proper." 

Section  second  provided  for  the  submitting 
the  question  of  "For  a  Territory"  or  "Against 
a  Territory"  to  the  people  of  the  portion  sought 
to  be  segregated  at  the  next  general  election; 
"and  in  case  two-thirds  of  the  whole  number  of 
voters  voting  thereon  shall  vote  for  a  change  of 
government,  the  consent  hereby  given  shall  be 
deemed  consummated."  In  case  the  vote  was 
favorable  the  secretary  of  state  was  to  send  a 
certified  copy  of  the  result  of  the  election  and 
a  copy  of  the  act  annexed  to  the  president  of 
the  United  States  and  to  the  senators  and  rep- 
resentatives of  California  in  congress.  At  the 
general  election  in  September,  1859,  the  ques- 
tion was  submitted  to  a  vote  of  the  people  of 
the  southern  counties,  with  the  following  result: 

For.     Against. 

Los  Angeles  county 1407  441 

San  Bernardino 441  29 

San  Diego 207  24 

San  Luis  Obispo 10  283 

Santa  Barbara 395  5 1 

Tulare    17 

Total   2,477  828 

The  bill  to  create  the  county  of  Buena  Vista 
from  the  southern  portion  of  Tulare  failed  to 
pass  the  legislature,  hence  the  name  of  that 
county  does  not  appear  in  the  returns.  The 
result  of  the  vote  showed  that  considerably  more 
than  two-thirds  were  in  favor  of  a  new  state. 

The  results  of  this  movement  for  division  and 
the  act  were  sent  to  the  president  and  to  con- 
gress, hut  nothing  came  of  it.  The  pro-slavery 
faction  that  with  the  assistance  of  the  dough- 
faces of  the  north  had  so  long  dominated  con- 
gress hail  lost  its  power.  The  southern  senators 
and  congressmen  v,  ere  pp  paring  for  s& 
and  had  weightier  matters  t,i  think  of  than  the 
division  of  tin-  state  of  1  :alifornia.  <  >f  late  years, 
a  few  feeble  attempts  have  been  made  to  stir  up 


206 


HISTORICAL   AXD   BIOGRAPHICAL  RECORD. 


the  old  question  of  state  division  and  even  to 
resurrect  the  old  "Pico  law." 

For  more  than  a  decade  after  its  admission 
into  the  Union,  California  was  a  Democratic 
state  and  controlled  by  the  pro-slavery  wing  of 
that  party.  John  C.  Fremont  and  William  H. 
Gwin,  its  first  senators,  were  southern  born, 
Fremont  in  South  Carolina  and  Gwin  in  Mis- 
sissippi. Politics  had  not  entered  into  their 
election,  but  the  lines  were  soon  drawn.  Fre- 
mont drew  the  short  term  and  his  services  in 
the  senate  were  very  brief.  He  confidently 
expected  a  re-election,  but  in  this  he  was 
doomed  to  disappointment.  The  legislature  of 
1851,  after  balloting  one  hundred  ami  forty-two 
times,  adjourned  without  electing,  leaving  Cali- 
fornia with  but  one  senator  in  the  session  of 
1850-51.  In  the  legislature  of  1852  John  I'.. 
Wilier  was  elected.  He  was  a  northern  man 
with  southern  principles.  His  chief  opponent 
for  the  place  was  David  Colbert  Broderick,  a 
man  destined  to  fill  an  important  place  in  the 
political  history  of  California.  He  was  an  Irish- 
man by  birth,  but  had  come  to  America  in  his 
boyhood.  He  had  learned  the  stone  cutters' 
trade  with  his  father.  His  early  associations 
were  with  the  rougher  element  of  Xew  York- 
City.  Aspiring  to  a  higher  position  than  that 
of  a  stone  cutter  he  entered  the  political  field 
and  soon  arose  to  prominence.  At  the  age  of 
26  he  was  nominated  for  Congress,  but  was  de- 
feated by  a  small  majority  through  a  split  in  the 
party.  In  1840  he  came  to  California,  where  he 
arrived  sick  and  penniless.  With  F.  D.  Kohler, 
an  assayer,  he  engaged  in  coining  gold.  The 
profit  from  buying  gold  dust  at  $14  an  ounce 
and  making  it  into  $5  and  $10  pieces  put  him 
in  afHuenl   circumstances. 

His  first  entry  into  politics  in  California  was 
his  election  to  fill  a  vacancy  in  the  senate  of  the 
first  legislature.  In  1851  he  became  president 
of  the  senate.  I  ['e  studied  law.  history  and  liter- 
ature and  was  admitted  to  the  bar.  He  was  ap- 
pointed clerk  of  the  supreme  cour)  and  had  as- 
pirations for  still  higher  positions.  Although 
Senator  Gwin  was  a  Democrat,  he  had  managed 
in  control  all  the  federal  appointments  of  Fill 
more,  the  Whig  president,  and  he  had  filled  the 
(>f\)c<^  with  pro-slaver)   Democrats. 


Xo  other  free  state  in  the  Union  had  such 
odious  laws  against  negroes  as  had  California. 
The  legislature  of  1852  enacted  a  law  "respect- 
ing fugitives  from  labor  and  slaves  brought  to 
this  state  prior  to  her  admission  to  the  Union." 
"Under  this  law  a  colored  man  or  woman  could 
be  brought  before  a  magistrate,  claimed  as  a 
slave,  and  the  person  so  seized  not  being  per- 
mitted to  testify,  the  judge  had  no  alternative 
but  to  issue  a  certificate  to  the  claimant,  which 
certificate  was  conclusive  of  the  right  of  the  per- 
son  or  persons  in  whose  favor  granted,  and  pre- 
vented all  molestation  of  such  person  or  per- 
sons, by  any  process  issued  by  any  court,  judge, 
justice  or  magistrate  or  other  person  whomso- 
ever. "*  Any  one  who  rendered  assistance  to  a 
fugitive  was  liable  to  a  fine  of  $500  or  imprison- 
ment for  two  months.  Slaves  who  had  been 
brought  into  California  by  their  masters  before 
it  became  a  state,  but  who  were  freed  by  the 
adoption  of  a  constitution  prohibiting  slavery, 
were  held  to  be  fugitives  and  were  liable  to 
arrest,  although  they  had  been  free  for  several 
years  and  some  of  them  had  accumulated  con- 
siderable property.  By  limitation  the  law  should 
have  become  inoperative  in  1853,  but  the  legis- 
lature of  that  year  re-enacted  it,  and  the  suc- 
ceeding legislatures  of  1854  and  1855  continued 
it  in  force.  The  intention  of  the  legislators 
who  enacted  the  law  was  to  legalize  the  kid- 
napping of  free  negroes,  as  well  as  the  arrest  of 
fugitives.  Broderick  vigorously  opposed  the 
prosecution  of  the  colored  people  and  by  so 
doing  called  down  upon  his  head  the  wrath  of 
the  pro-slavery  chivalry.  From  that  time  on  he 
was  an  object  of  their  hatred.  While  successive 
legislatures  were  passing  laws  to  punish  black- 
men  for  daring  to  assert  their  freedom  and  their 
right  to  the  products  of  their  honest  toil,  white 
villains  were  rewarded  with  political  preferment, 
provided  always  that  they  belonged  to  the  domi- 
nant wing  of  the  Democratic  party.  The  Whig 
party  was  but  little  better  than  the  other,  for  the 
same  element  ruled  in  both.  The  finances  of 
tin'  state  were  in  a  deplorable  condition  and 
continually  growing  worse.  The  people's  money 
was  recklessly  squandered.     Incompetency  was 


►Bancroft's  History  of  California,  Vol.  VI. 


HISTORICAL  AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


207 


the  rule  in  office  and  honesty  the  exception. 
Ballot  box  stuffing  had  been  reduced  to  a  me- 
chanical science,  jury  bribing  was  one  of  the 
fine  arts  and  suborning  perjury  was  a  recognized 
profession.  During  one  election  in  San  Fran- 
cisco it  was  estimated  that  $1,500,000  was  spent 
in  one  way  or  another  to  influence  voters.  Such 
was  the  state  of  affairs  just  preceding  the  up- 
rising of  the  people  that  evolved  in  San  Fran- 
cisco the  vigilance  committee  of  1856. 

At  the  state  election  in  the  fall  of  1855  the 
Know  Nothings  carried  the  state.  The  native 
American  or  Know  Nothing  party  was  a  party 
of  few  principles.  Opposition  to  Catholics  and 
foreigners  was  about  the  only  plank  in  its  plat- 
form. There  was  a  strong  opposition  to  for- 
eign miners  in  the  mining  districts  and  the 
pro-slavery  faction  saw  in  the  increased  foreign 
immigration  danger  to  the  extension  of  their 
beloved  institution  into  new  territory.  The 
most  potent  cause  of  the  success  of  the  new 
part}-  in  California  was  the  hope  that  it  might 
bring  reform  to  relieve  the  tax  burdened  people. 
But  in  this  they  were  disappointed.  It  was  made 
up  from  the  same  element  that  had  so  long  mis- 
governed the  state. 

The  leaders  of  the  party  were  either  pro- 
slavery  men  of  the  south  or  northern  men  with 
southern  principles.  Of  the  latter  class  was  J. 
Neely  Johnson,  the  governor-elect.  In  the  leg- 
islature of  1855  the  contest  between  Gwin  and 
Broderick,  which  had  been  waged  at  the  polls 
the  previous  year,  culminated  after  thirty-eight 
ballots  in  no  choice  and  Gwin's  place  in  the 
senate  became  vacant  at  the  expiration-  of  his 
term.  In  the  legislature  of  1856  the  Know  Noth- 
ings had  a  majority  in  both  houses.  It  was 
supposed  that  they  would  elect  a  senator  to 
succeed  Gwin.  There  were  three  aspirants:  H. 
A.  Crabb,  formerly  a  Whig;  F.  C.  Marshall  and 
Henry  S.  Foote,  formerly  Democrats.  All  were 
southerners  and  were  in  the  new  party  for  of- 
fice. The  Gwin  and  Broderick  influence  was 
strong  enough  to  prevent  the  Know  Nothing 
legislature  from  electing  a  senator  and  Califor- 
nia was  left  with  but  one  representative  in  the 
upper  house  of  Congress. 

The  Know  Nothing  party  was  short  lived.  At 
the   general   election    in     1856    the    Democrats 


swept  the  state.  Broderick,  by  his  ability  in  or- 
ganizing and  his  superior  leadership,  had  se- 
cured a  majority  in  the  legislature  and  was  in  a 
position  to  dictate  terms  to  his  opponents.  Wel- 
ler's  senatorial  term  would  soon  expire  and 
Gwin's  already  two  years  vacant  left  two  places 
to  be  filled.  Broderick,  who  had  heretofore 
been  contending  for  Gwin's  place,  changed  his 
tactics  and  aspired  to  fill  the  long  term.  Ac- 
cording to  established  custom,  the  filling  of  the 
vacancy  would  come  up  first,  but  Broderick,  by 
superior  finesse,  succeeded  in  having  the  caucus 
nominate  the  successor  to  Weller  first.  Ex- 
Congressman  Latham's  friends  were  induced  to 
favor  the  arrangement  on  the  expectation  that 
their  candidate  would  be  given  the  short  term. 
Broderick  was  elected  to  the  long  term  on  the 
first  ballot,  January  9,  1857,  and  his  commission 
was  immediately  made  out  and  signed  by  the 
governor.  For  years  he  had  bent  his  energies 
to  securing  the  senatorship  and  at  last  he  had 
obtained  the  coveted  honor.  But  he  was  not 
satisfied  yet.  He  aspired  to  control  the  federal 
patronage  of  the  state;  in  this  way  he  could 
reward  his  friends.  He  could  dictate  the  elec- 
tion of  his  colleague  for  the  short  term.  Both 
Gwin  and  Latham  were  willing  to  concede  to 
him  that  privilege  for  the  sake  of  an  election. 
Latham  tried  to  make  a  few  reservations  for 
some  of  his  friends  to  whom  he  had  promised 
places.  Gwin  offered  to  surrender  it  all  with- 
out reservation.  He  had  had  enough  of  it. 
Gwin  was  elected  and  next  day  published  an 
address,  announcing  his  obligation  to  Broderick 
and  renouncing  any  claim" to  the  distribution  of 
the  federal  patronage. 

Then  a  wail  long  and  loud  went  up  from  the 
chivalry,  who  for  years  had  monopolized  all  the 
offices.  That  they,  southern  gentlemen  of  aris- 
tocratic antecedents,  should  be  compelled  to  asl 
favors  of  a  mudsill  of  the  north  was  too  hu- 
miliating to  be  borne.  Latham,  too,  was  indig- 
nant and  Broderick  found  thai  his  triumph  was 
but  a  hollow  mockery.  But  the  worst 
come.  Tie  who  had  done  SO  much  to  unite  the 
warring  Democracy  and  give  the  party  a  glo- 
rious victory  in  California  at  the  presidential 
election  of  [856  full)  expected  the  approbation 
of  President  Buchanan,  but  when  he  called  on 


2(IS 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


that  old  gentleman  he  was  received  coldly  and 
during  Buchanan's  administration  he  was  ig- 
nored and  Gwin's  advice  taken  and  followed  in 
making  federal  appointments.  He  returned  to 
California  in  April,  1857,  to  secure  the  nomina- 
tion of  his  friends  on  the  state  ticket,  but  in 
this  he  was  disappointed.  The  Gwin  ele- 
ment was  in  the  ascendency  and  John 
B.  Weller  received  the  nomination  for  gov- 
ernor. He  was  regarded  as  a  martyr,  having 
been  tricked  out  of  a  re-election  to  the  sen- 
ate by  Broderick.  There  were  other  martyrs  of 
the  Democracy,  who  received  balm  for  their 
wounds  and  sympathy  for  their  sufferings  at 
that  convention.  In  discussing  a  resolution  de- 
nouncing the  vigilance  committee,  0'Me.ara  in 
his  "History  of  Early  Politics  in  California," 
says:  "Col.  Joseph  P.  Hoge,  the  acknowledged 
leader  of  the  convention,  stated  that  the  com- 
mittee had  hanged  four  men,  banished  twenty- 
eight  and  arrested  two  hundred  and  eighty;  and 
that  these  were  nearly  all  I  democrats. 

On  Broderick's  return  to  the  senate  in  the 
session  of  1857-58,  he  cast  his  lot  with  Senator 
Douglas  and  opposed  the  admission  of  Kansas 
under  the  infamous  Lecompton  constitution. 
This  cut  him  loose  from  the  administration 
wing  of  the  party. 

In  the  state  campaign  of  1859  Broderick  ral- 
lied his  followers  under  the  Anti-Lecompton 
standard  and  Gwin  his  in  support  of  the  Bu- 
chanan administration.  The  party  was  hope- 
lessly divided.  Two  Democratic  tickets  were 
placed  in  the  field.  The  Broderick  ticket,  with 
John  Currey  as  governor,  and  the  Gwin,  with 
Milton  Latham,  the  campaign  was  bitter.  Brod- 
erick took  the  stump  and  although  not  an  orator 
his  denunciations  of  Gwin  were  scathing  and 
merciless  and  in  his  fearful  earnestness  he  be- 
came almosl  eloquent.  Gwin  in  turn  loosed 
the  vials  of  his  wrath  upon  Broderick  and 
criminations  and  recriminations  Hew  thick  and 
fast  during  the  campaign.  It  was  a  campaign 
df  vituperation,  but  the  first  aggress<  r  was 
Gwin. 

Judge  Terry,  in  a  speech  before  the  Lecomp- 
ton convention  at  Sacramento  in  June,  1859, 
after  flinging  oul  sneers  at  the  Republican  party, 
characterized  Broderick's  party  as  sailing  "under 


the  flag  of  Douglas,  but  it  is  the  banner  of  the 
black  Douglass,  whose  name  is  Frederick,  not 
Stephen."  This  taunt  was  intended  to  arouse 
the  wrath  of  Broderick.  He  read  Terry's  speech 
while  seated  at  breakfast  in  the  International 
hotel  at  San  Francisco.  Broderick  denounced 
Terry's  utterance  in  forcible  language  and 
closed  by  saying:  "I  have  hitherto  spoken  of 
him  as  an  honest  man,  as  the  only  honest 
man  on  the  bench  of  a  miserable,  corrupt  su- 
preme court,  but  now  I  find  I  was  mistaken.  I 
take  it  all  back."  A  lawyer  by  the  name  of  Per- 
ley, a  friend  of  Terry's,  to  whom  the  remark  was 
directed,  to  obtain  a  little  reputation,  challenged 
Broderick.  Broderick  refused  to  consider  Per- 
ley's  challenge  on  the  ground  that  he  was  not 
his  (Broderick's)  equal  in  standing  and  beside 
that  he  had  declared  himself  a  few  days  before 
a  British  subject.  Perley  did  not  stand  very- 
high  in  the  community.  Terry  had  acted  as  a 
second  for  him  in  a  duel  a  few  years  before. 

Broderick,  in  his  reply  to  Perley,  said:  "I 
have  determined  to  take  no  notice  of  attacks 
from  any  source  during  the  canvass.  If  I  were 
to  accept  your  challenge,  there  are  probably 
many  other  gentlemen  who  would  seek  similar 
opportunities  for  hostile  meetings  for  the  pur- 
pose of  accomplishing  a  political  object  or  to 
obtain  public  notoriety.  I  cannot  afford  at  the 
present  time  to  descend  to  a  violation  of  the 
Constitution  and  state  laws  to  subserve  either 
their  or  your  purposes." 

Terry  a  few  days  after  the  close  of  the  cam- 
paign sent  a  letter  to  Broderick  demanding  a 
retraction  of  the  offensive  remarks.  Broderick, 
well  knowing  that  he  would  have  to  fight  some 
representative  of  the  chivalry  if  not  several  of 
them  in  succession,  did  not  retract  his  remarks, 
lie  had  for  several  years,  in  expectation  of  such 
a  result  in  a  contest  with  them,  practiced 
himself  in  the  use  of  fire  arms  until  he  had  be- 
come quite  expert. 

A  challenge  followed,  a  meeting  was  arranged 
to  take  place  in  San  Mateo  county,  ten  miles 
from  San  Francisco,  on  the  12th  of  September. 
( 'hief  of  Police  Burke  appeared  on  the  scene 
and  arrested  the  principals.  They  were  released 
by  the  court,  no  crime  having  been  committed. 
They  met  next  morning  at  the  same  place:  ex- 


HISTORICAL   AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


jn',i 


Congressman  McKibben  and  David  D.  Colton 
were  Broderick's  seconds.  Calhoun  Benham 
and  Thomas  Hayes  were  Terry's.  The  pistols 
selected  belonged  to  a  friend  of  Terry's.  Brod- 
erick  was  ill,  weak  and  nervous,  and  it  was  said 
that  his  pistol  was  quicker  on  the  trigger  than 
Terry's.  When  the  word  was  given  it  was  dis- 
charged before  it  reached  a  level  and  the  ball 
struck  the  earth,  nine  feet  from  where  he  stood. 
Terry  fired,  striking  Broderick  in  the  breast. 
He  sank  to  the  earth  mortally  wounded  and  died 
three  days  afterwards.  Broderick  dead  was  a 
greater  man  than  Broderick  living.  For  years 
he  had  waged  a  contest  against  the  representa- 
tives of  the  slave  oligarchy  in  California  and  the 
great  mass  of  the  people  had  looked  on  with 
indifference,  even  urging  on  his  pursuers  to  the 
tragic  end.  Now  that  he  was  killed,  the  cry  went 
up  for  vengeance  on  his  murderers.  Terry  was 
arrested  and  admitted  to  bail  in  the  sum  of 
$10,000.  The  trial  was  put  off  on  some  pretext 
and  some  ten  months  later  he  obtained  a  change 
of  venue  to  Marin  county  on  the  plea  that  he 
could  not  obtain  a  fair  and  impartial  trial  in  San 
Francisco.  His  case  was  afterwards  dismissed 
without  trial  by  a  pro-slavery  judge  named 
Hard)-.  Although  freed  by  the  courts  he  was 
found  guilty  and  condemned  by  public  opinion. 
He  went  south  and  joined  the  Confederates  at 
the  breaking  out  of  the  Civil  war.  He  some 
time  after  the  close  of  the  war  returned  to  Cal- 
ifornia. In  1880  he  was  a  presidential  elector 
on  the  Democratic  ticket.  His  colleagues  on 
the  ticket  were  elected,  but  he  was  defeated. 
He  was  killed  at  Lathrop  by  a  deputy  United 
States  marshal  while  attempting  an  assault  on 
United  States  Supreme  Judge  Field. 

In  the  hue  and  cry  that  was  raised  on  the 
death  of  Broderick,  the  chivalry  read  the  doom 
of  their  ascendency.  Gwin,  as  he  was  about  to 
take  trie  steamer  on  his  return  to  Washington, 
"had  flaunted  in  his  face  a  large  canvas  frame, 
cm  which  was  painted  a  portrait  of  Broderick 
and  this:  'It  is  the  will  of  the  people  that  the 
murderers  of  Broderick  do  not  return  again  to 
California;'  and  below  were  also  these  words 
attributed  to  Mr.  Broderick:  'They  have  killed 
me  because  I  was  opposed  to  the  extension  of 
slavery,  and  a  corrupt  administration.'" 


Throughout  his  political  career  Broderick  was 
a  consistent  anti-slavery  man  and  a  friend  of 
the  common  people.  Of  all  the  politicians  of  the 
ante-bellum  period,  that  is,  before  the  Civil  war, 
he  stands  to-day  the  highest  in  the  estimation  of 
the  people  of  California.  Like  Lincoln,  he  was 
a  self-made  man.  From  a  humble  origin, 
unaided,  he  had  fought  his  way  up  to  a  lofty  po- 
sition. Had  he  been  living  during  the  war 
against  the  perpetuity  of  human  slavery,  he 
would  have  been  a  power  in  the  senate  or  pos- 
sibly a  commander  on  the  field  of  battle.  As  it 
was,  during  that  struggle  in  his  adopted  state, 
his  name  became  a  synonyn  of  patriotism  and 
love  for  the  Union. 

Milton  S.  Latham,  who  succeeded  John  B. 
VVeller  as  governor  in  i860,  was.  like  his  pred- 
ecessor, a  northern  man  with  southern  prin- 
ciples. Almost  from  the  date  of  his  arrival  in 
California  he  had  been  an  office-holder.  He  was 
a  man  of  mediocre  ability.  He  was  a  state  di- 
visionist  and  would  have  aided  in  that  scheme 
by  advocating  in  the  senate  of  the  United  States 
(to  which  body  he  had  been  elected  three  days 
after  his  inauguration)  the  segregation  of  the 
southern  counties  and  their  formation  into  a 
new  state  with  the  hopes  of  restoring  the  equi- 
librium between  the  north  and  the  south.  But 
the  time  had  passed  for  such  projects.  The 
lieutenant-governor,  John  G.  Downey,  suc- 
ceeded Latham.  Downey  gained  great  popu- 
larity by  his  veto  of  the  "bulkhead  bill."  This 
was  a  scheme  of  the  San  Francisco  Dock  and 
Wharf  Company  to  build  a  stone  bulkhead 
around  the  city  water  front  in  consideration  of 
having  the  exclusive  privilege  of  collecting 
wharfage  and  tolls  for  fifty  years.  Down 
much  of  his  popularity,  particularly  with  the 
Union  men,  during  the  Civil  war  on  account  of 
his  sympathy  with  the  Confederates. 

At  the  state  election  in  September.  [861,  Ice- 
land Stanford  was  chosen  governor.  He  was 
the  first  Republican  il  office.     He 

received    fifty-six    thou  Two    years 

before  he  had  been  a  candidate  for  that  office 
and  received  only  ten  thousand  votes,  so  rap- 
idlv  had   publii  '■     The  news 

of  the  firing  upon    Fori     £  ed   San 

Francisco    April   -'4,   twelve   days  after   its  oc- 


HISTORICAL   AND    BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


currence.  It  came  by  pony  express.  The  be- 
ginning of  hostilities  between  the  north  and  the 
south  stirred  up  a  strong  Union  sentiment.  The 
great  Union  mass  meeting  held  in  San  Fran- 
cisco May  ii,  1861,  was  the  largest  and  most 
enthusiastic  public  demonstration  ever  held  on 
the  Pacific  coast.  The  lines  were  sharply  drawn 
between  the  friends  of  the  government  and  its 
enemies.  Former  political  alliances  were  for- 
gotten. Most  of  the  Anti-Lecompton  or  Doug- 
las Democrats  arrayed  themselves  on  the  side 
of  the  Union.  The  chivalry  wing  of  the  Dem- 
ocratic party  were  either  open  or  secret  sym- 
pathizers with  the  Confederates.  Some  of  them 
were  bold  and  outspoken  in  their  disloyalty. 
The  speech  of  Edmund  Randolph  at  the  Dem- 
ocratic convention  July  24.  1861,  is  a  sample 
of  such  utterances.  *  *  *  "To  me  it  seems 
a  waste  of  time  to  talk.  For  God's  sake,  tell 
me  of  battles  fought  and  won.  Tell  me  of 
usurpers  overthrown;  that  Missouri  is  again  a 
free  state,  no  longer  crushed  under  the  armed 
heel  of  a  reckless  and  odious  despot.  Tell  me 
that  the  state  of  Maryland  lives  again;  and,  oh! 
gentlemen,  let  us  read,  let  us  hear,  at  the  first 
moment,  that  not  one  hostile  foot  now  treads 
the  soil  of  Virginia!  (Applause  and  cheers.) 
If  this  be  rebellion,  I  am  a  rebel.  Do  you  want 
a  traitor,  then  I  am  a  traitor.  For  God's  sake, 
speed  the  ball;  may  the  lead  go  quick  to  his 
heart,  and  may  our  country  be  free  from  the 
despot  usurper  that  now  claims  the  name 
of  the  president  of  the  United  States."*  (Cheers.) 
Some  of  the  chivalry  Democrats,  most  of  whom 
had  been  holding  office  in  California  for  years, 
went  south  at  the  breaking  out  of  the  war  to 
fight  in  the  armies  of  the  Confederacy,  and 
among  these  was  Gen.  Albert  Sidney  Johnston, 
who  had  been  superseded  in  the  command  of 
the  Pacific  Department  by  <  .en.  Edwin  V.  Stun- 
ner. Johnston,  with  a  number  of  fellow  sym- 
pathizers, went  south  b)  the  overland  route  and 
was  killed  a  year  later,  at  the  batik-  of  Shiloh, 
while  in  command  of  the  Confederate  army. 

One     form     of     disloyally     among     the    class 

known   as  "copperheads"    (northern    men  with 

rn  principles)  was  the  advocacy  of  a  Pa- 


cific republic.  Most  prominent  among  these 
was  ex-Governor  John  B.  W'eller.  The  move- 
ment was  a  thinly  disguised  method  of  aiding 
the  southern  Confederacy.  The  flag  of  the 
inchoate  Pacific  republic  was  raised  in  Stock- 
ton January  16,  1861.  It  is  thus  described  by 
the  Stockton  Argus:  "The  flag  is  of  silk  of  the 
medium  size  of  the  national  ensign  and  with 
the  exception  of  the  Union  (evidently  a  mis- 
nomer in  this  case)  which  contains  a  lone  star 
upon  a  blue  ground,  is  covered  by  a  painting 
representing  a  wild  mountain  scene,  a  huge 
grizzly  bear  standing  in  the  foreground  and  the 
words  'Pacific  Republic'  near  the  upper  border." 
The  flag  raising  was  not  a  success.  At  first  it 
was  intended  to  raise  it  in  the  city.  But  as  it 
became  evident  this  would  not  be  allowed,  it  was 
raised  to  the  mast  head  of  a  vessel  in  the  slough. 
It  was  not  allowed  to  float  there  long.  The  hal- 
yards were  cut  and  a  boy  was  sent  up  the  mast 
to  pull  it  down.  The  owner  of  the  flag  was  con- 
vinced that  it  was  not  safe  to  trifle  with  the 
loyal  sentiment  of  the  people. 

At  the  gubernatorial  election  in  September, 
1863,  Frederick  F.  Low,  Republican,  was 
chosen  over  John  G.  Downey,  Democrat,  by  a 
majority  of  over  twenty  thousand.  In  some  parts 
of  the  state  Confederate  sympathizers  were 
largely  in  the  majority.  This  was  the  case  in 
Los  Angeles  and  in  some  places  in  the  San 
Joaquin  valley.  Several  of  the  most  outspoken 
were  arrested  and  sent  to  Fort  Alcatraz,  where 
they  soon  became  convinced  of  the  error  of 
their  ways  and  took  the  oath  of  allegiance. 
When  the  news  of  the  assassination  of  Lincoln 
reached  San  Francisco,  a  mob  destroyed  the 
newspaper  plants  of  the  Democratic  Press. 
edited  by  Beriah  Brown  ;  the  Occidental,  edited 
by  Zach.  Montgomery:  the  News  Letter,  edited 
by  F.  Marriott,  and  the  Monitor,  a  Catholic 
paper,  edited  by  Thomas  A.  Brady.  These  were 
virulent  copperhead  sheets  that  had  heaped 
abuse  upon  the  martyred  president.  Had  the 
proprietors  of  these  journals  been  found  the 
mob  would,  in  the  excitement  that  prevailed, 
have  treated  them  with  violence.  After  this 
demonstration  Confederate  sympathizers  kept 
silent. 


>  alifornia. 


HISTORICAL   AND   BIOGRAPHICAL   RECORD. 


CHAPTER   XXXI. 


TRADE,  TRAVEL  AND  TRANSPORTATION. 


THE  beginning  of  the  ocean  commerce  of 
California  was  the  two  mission  transport 
ships  that  came  every  year  to  bring  sup- 
plies for  the  missions  and  presidios  and  take 
back  what  few  products  there  were  to  send. 
The  government  fixed  a  price  upon  each  and 
every  article  of  import  and  export.  There  was 
no  cornering  the  market,  no  bulls  or  bears  in 
the  wheat  pit,  no  rise  or  fall  in  prices  except 
when  ordered  by  royal  authority.  An  Arancel 
de  Precios  (fixed  rate  of  prices)  was  issued  at 
certain  intervals,  and  all  buying  and  selling  was 
governed  accordingly.  These  arancels  include  1 
everything  in  the  range  of  human  needs — phys- 
ical, spiritual  or  mental.  According  to  a  tariff 
of  prices  promulgated  by  Governor  Fages  in 
1788,  which  had  been  approved  by  the  audencia 
and  had  received  the  royal  sanction,  the  price 
of  a  Holy  Christ  in  California  was  fixed  at 
$1.75,  a  wooden  spoon  six  cents,  a  horse  $9,  a 
deerskin  twenty-five  cents,  red  pepper  eighteen 
cents  a  pound,  a  dozen  of  quail  twenty-five 
cents,  brandy  seventy-five  cents  per  pint,  and 
so  on  throughout  the  list. 

In  1785  an  attempt  was  made  to  open  up 
trade  between  California  and  China,  the  com- 
modities for  exchange  being  seal  and  otter 
skins  for  quicksilver.  The  trade  in  peltries  was 
to  be  a  government  monopoly.  The  skins  were 
to  be  collected  from  the  natives  by  the  mission 
friars,  who  were  to  sell  them  to  a  government 
agent  at  prices  ranging  from  $2.50  to  Sin  each. 
The  neophytes  must  give  up  to  the  friars  all 
the  skins  in  their  possession.  All  trade  by  citi- 
zens or  soldiers  was  prohibited  ami  any  one 
attempting  to  deal  in  peltries  otherwise  than 
the  regularly  ordained  authorities  was  liable,  if 
found  out,  to  have  his  goods  confiscated. 
Spain's  attempt  to  engage  in  the  fur  trade  was 
not  a  success.  The  blighting  monopoly  of 
church  and  state  nipped  it   in  the  bud.     It  died 


out,  and  the  government  bought  quicksilver, 
on  which  also  it  had  a  monop  >ly,  with  coin  in- 
stead of  otter  skins. 

After  the  government  abandoned  the  fur  trade 
the  American  smugglers  began  to  gather  up 
the  peltries,  and  the  California  producer  re- 
ceived better  prices  for  his  furs  than  the  mis- 
sionaries paid. 

The  Yankee  smuggler  had  no  arancel  of 
prices  fixed  by  royal  edict.  His  price  ICt  va- 
ried according  to  circumstances.  As  his  trade 
was  illicit  and  iiis  vessel  and  her  cargo  were  in 
danger  of  confiscation  if  he  was  caught,  his  scale 
of  prices  ranged  high.  But  he  paid  a  higher 
price  for  the  peltries  than  the  government,  and 
that  was  a  consolation  to  the  seller.  The  com- 
merce with  the  Russian  settlements  of  the 
northwest  in  the  early  years  of  the  century  fur- 
nished a  limited  market  for  the  grain  produced 
at  some  of  the  missions,  hut  the  Russians 
helped  themselves  to  the  otter  and  the  seal  of 
California  without  saying  "By  your  leave"  and 
they  were  not  welcome  visitors. 

During  the  -Mexican  revolution,  as  has  been 
previously  mentioned,  trade  sprang  up  !>< 
Lima  and  California  in  tallow,  but  it  was  of 
short  duration  During  the  Spanish  era  it  can 
hardly  be  said  that  California  had  air 
merce.  Foreign  vessels  were  not  allowed  to 
enter  her  ports  except  when  in  distress,  anil 
their  stay  was  limited  to  the  sin  rtesl  time  pos 
sible  required  to  make  repairs  and  take  on 
supplies. 

It  was  not  until  Mexico  gained  her  inde- 
pendence ami  removed  the  pi  scriptive  regu- 
lations with  which  Spain  had  hampered  com- 
merce that  t1]-  rs  opened  up  trade 
between  New  England  and 'California.  This 
trade,  which  b  ■  ■  grew  t .  •  consider- 
able prop  irtii  n~  Tlie  hide  droghers  were  emi- 
grant -hips  as  well  as  mercantile  vessels.     By 


212 


HISTORICAL   AXD    BIOGRAPHICAL    RECORD. 


these  came  most  of  the  Americans  who  settled 
in  California  previous  to  1840.  The  hide  and 
tallow  trade,  the  most  important  item  of  com- 
merce in  the  Mexican  era,  reached  its  maximum 
in  [834,  when  the  great  mission  herds  were,  by 
order  of  the  padres,  slaughtered  to  prevent  them 
from  falling  into  the  hands  of  the  government 
commissioners.  Thirty-two  vessels  came  to  the 
coast  that  year,  marly  all  of  which  were  en- 
gaged  in   the   hide  and   tallow  trade. 

During  the  year  1845,  the  last  of  Mexican 
rule,  sixty  vessels  visited  the  coast.  These 
were  not  all  trading  vessels;  eight  were  men- 
of-war,  twelve  were  whalers  and  thirteen  came 
on  miscellaneous  business.  The  total  amount 
received  at  the  custom  house  for  revenue  during 
that  year  was  $140,000.  The  majority  of  the 
vessels  trading  on  the  California  coast  during 
the  Mexican  era  sailed  under  the  stars  and 
stripes.  Mexico  was  kinder  to  California  than 
Spain,  and  under  her  administration  commer- 
cial relations  were  established  to  a  limited  ex- 
lent  with  foreign  nations.  Her  commerce  at 
best  was  feeble  and  uncertain.  The  revenue  laws 
and  their  administration  were  frequently 
changed,  and  the  shipping  merchant  was  never 
sure  wiiat  kind  of  a  reception  his  cargo  would 
receive  from  the  custom  house  officers.  The 
duties  on  imports  from  foreign  countries  were 
exorbitant  and  there  was  always  more  or  less 
smuggling  carried  on.  The  people  and  the 
padres,  when  they  were  a  power,  gladly  wel- 
comed the  arrival  of  a  trading  vessel  on  the 
coast  and  were  not  averse  to  buying  goods  that 
had  escaped  the  tariff  if  they  could  do  so  with 
safety.  As  there  was  no  land  tax,  the  revenue 
on  goods  supported  the  expenses  of  the  govern- 
ment. 

Never  in  the  world's  history  did  any  country 
develop  an  ocean  commerce  so  quickly  as  did 
California  after  the  discovery  of  gold.  When 
the  news  spread  abroad,  the  first  ships  to 
arrive  came  from  Peru,  Chile  and  the  South 
Sea  islands.  The  earliesl  published  notice  oi 
the  gold  discovery  appeared  in  the  Baltimore 
Sun,  September  jo,  [848,  eight  months  after  it 
was  made.  At  first  the  Story  was  ridiculed,  hut 
as  confirmatory  reports  came  thick  and  fast, 
preparations    began    for    a    grand    rush    for    the 


gold  mines.  Vessels  of  all  kinds,  seaworthy 
and  unseaworthy,  were  overhauled  and  fitted 
out  for  California'.  The  American  trade  with 
California  had  gone  by  way  of  Cape  Horn  or 
the  Straits  of  Magellan,  and  this  was  the  route 
that  was  taken  by  the  pioneers.  Then  there 
were  short  cuts  by  the  way  of  the  Isthmus  of 
Panama,  across  Mexico  and  by  Nicaragua.  The 
first  vessels  left  the  Atlantic  seaports  in  No- 
vember, 1848.  By  the  middle  of  the  winter  one 
hundred  vessels  had  sailed  from  Atlantic  and 
Gulf  seaports,  and  by  spring  one  hundred  and 
fifty  more  had  taken  their  departure,  all  of  them 
loaded  with  human  freight  and  with  supplies  of 
every  description.  Five  hundred  and  forty- 
nine  vessels  arrived  in  San  Francisco  in  nine 
months,  forty-five  reaching  that  port  in  one  day. 
April  12,  1848,  before  the  treaty  of  peace 
with  Mexico  had  been  proclaimed  by  the  Presi- 
dent, the  Pacific  Mail  Steamship  Company  was 
incorporated  with  a  capital  of  $500,000.  Asto- 
ria. (  >rc.,  was  to  have  been  the  Pacific  terminus 
of  the  company's  line,  but  it  never  got  there 
The  discovery  of  gold  in  California  made  San 
Francisco  the  end  of  its  route.  The  contract 
with  the  government  gave  the  company  a  sub- 
sidy of  $200,000  for  maintaining  three  steamers 
on  the  Pacific  side  between  Panama  and  Asto- 
ria. The  first  of  these  vessels,  the  California, 
sailed  from  New  York  October  6,  1848,  for  San 
Francisco  and  Astoria  via  Cape  Horn.  She 
was  followed  in  the  two  succeeding  months  by 
the  <  (regon  and  the  Panama.  On  the  Atlantic 
side  the  vessels  of  the  line  for  several  years 
were  the  (  >hio,  Illinois  and  Georgia.  The  ves- 
sels 011  the  Atlantic  side  were  fifteen  hundred 
tons  burden,  while  those  on  the  Pacific  were  a 
thousand  tons.  Freight  and  passengers  by  the 
Panama  route  were  transported  across  the  isth- 
mus by  boats  up  the  Chagres  river  to  Gorgona, 
and  then  by  mule-back  to  Panama.  In  1855  the 
Panama  railroad  was  completed.  This  greatly 
facilitated  travel  and  transportation.  The  At- 
lantic terminus  of  the  road  was  Aspinwall,  now 
called  1  1  >  1  <  m. 

Another  hue  of  travel  and  commerce  between 
the  states  and  California  in  early  days  was  the 
Nicaragua  route.  By  that  route  passengers  on 
the  Atlantic  side  landed  at  San  Juan  del   Norte 


HISTORICAL  AND    BIOGRAPHICAL    RECORD. 


213 


or  Greytown.  From  there  they  took  a  river 
steamer  and  ascended  the  Rio  San  Juan  to  Lake 
Nicaragua,  then  in  a  larger  vessel  the)  crossed 
the  lake  to  La  Virgin.  From  there  a  distance 
of  about  twelve  miles  was  made  on  foot  or  on 
mule-back  to  San  Juan  del  Sur,  where  they  re- 
embarked  on  board  the  ocean  steamer  for  San 
Francisco. 

The  necessity  for  the  speed)'  shipment  of  mer- 
chandise to  California  before  the  days  of  trans- 
continental railroads  at  a  minimum  cost  evolved 
the  clipper  ship.  These  vessels  entered  quite 
early  into  the  California  trade  and  soon  displaced 
the  short,  clumsy  vessels  of  a  few  hundred  tons 
burden  that  took  from  six  to  ten  months  to 
make  a  voyage  around  the  Horn.  The  clipper 
ship  Flying  Cloud,  which  arrived  at  San  Fran- 
cisco in  August,  185 1,  made  the  voyage  from 
Xew  York  in  eighty-nine  days.  These  vessels 
were  built  long  and  narrow  and  carried  heavy- 
sail.  Their  capacity  ranged  from  one  to  two 
thousand  tons  burden.  The  overland  railroads 
took  away  a  large  amount  of  their  business. 

Capt.  Jedediah  S.  Smith,  as  previously  stated, 
was  the  real  pathfinder  of  the  western  moun- 
tains and  plains.  He  marked  out  the  route 
from  Salt  Lake  by  way  of  the  Rio  Virgin,  the 
Colorado  and  the  Cajon  Pass  to  Los  Angeles 
in  [826.  This  route  was  extensively  traveled 
by  the  belated  immigrants  of  the  early  '50s. 
Those  reaching  Salt  Lake  City  too  late  in  the 
season  to  cross  the  Sierra  Nevadas  turned 
southward  and  entered  California  by  Smith's 
trail. 

The  early  immigration  to  California  came  by 
way  of  Fort  Hall.  From  there  it  turned  south- 
erly. At  Fort  Hall  the  Oregon  and  California 
immigrants  separated.  The  disasters  that  be- 
fell the  Donner  party  were  broughl  upon  them 
by  their  taking  the  Hastings  cut-oft',  which  was 
represented  to  them  as  saving  two  hundred  and 
fifty  miles.  It  was  shorter,  but  the  time  spent 
in  making  a  wagon  road  through  a  rough  coun- 
try delayed  them  until  they  were  caught  by  the 
snows  in  the  mountain-;.  Lassen's  cut-off  was 
another  rout-?  that  broughl  disaster  and  delays 
to  many  of  the  immigrants  who  were  induced 
to  take  it.     The  route  up  the  Platte  through  the 


South  Pass  of  the  Rocky  mountains  and  down 
the  Humboldt  received  by  far  the  larger  amount 
of  travel. 

The  old  Santa  Fe  trail  from  Independence  to 
Santa  Fe,  and  from  there  by  the  old  Spanish 
trail  around  the  north  bank  of  the  Colorado 
across  the  Rio  Virgin  down  the  Mojave  river 
and  through  the  Cajon  Pass  to  Los  Angeles, 
was  next  in  importance.  Another  route  by 
which  much  of  the  southern  emigration  came 
was  what  was  known  as  the  Gila  route.  It 
started  at  Fort  Smith,  Ark.,  thence  via  El  Paso 
and  Tucson  and  down  the  Gila  to  Yuma,  thence 
across  the  desert  through  the  San  Gorgono 
Pass  to  Los  Angeles.  In  1852  it  was  estimated 
one  thousand  wagons  came  by  this  route.  There 
was  another  route  still  further  south  than  this 
which  passed  through  the  northern  states  of 
Mexico,  but  it  was  not  popular  on  account  of 
the  hostility  of  the  Mexicans  and  the  Apaches. 

The  first  overland  stage  line  was  established 
in  1857.  The  route  extended  from  San  Antonio 
de  Bexar,  Tex.,  to  San  Diego,  via  El  Paso,  Mes- 
siilo,  Tucson  and  Colorado  City  (now  Yuma). 
The  service  was  twice  a  month.  The  contract 
was  let  to  James  E.  Burch,  the  Postal  Depart- 
ment reserving  "the  right  to  curt